Air Canada Will Launch Its Own Loyalty Program In 2020

Officials at Air Canada−Canada’s largest domestic and international airline serving more than 200 airports on six continents−announced this week they plan to launch their own loyalty program in 2020, ending their commercial agreement with Aimia, which operates Aeroplan, Canada’s premier coalition loyalty program.

Effective June 30, 2020, Aeroplan will no longer be the loyalty program for Air Canada. Aeroplan has been independently owned and operated by Aimia for almost a decade. By operating its own loyalty program, Air Canada will be better able to strengthen its customer relationships and deliver a more consistent end-to-end customer experience.

“Our relationship with our more than 45 million customers sits at the core of Air Canada’s ongoing transformation as we continue to grow our business beyond the 200 destinations that we already serve, and work to become a global champion,” said Calin Rovinescu, president and CEO. “This decision is the right one for our customers, our employees, and our shareholders.”

When reached by Loyalty360, an Air Canada executive said company officials aren’t doing any interviews related to the announcement as he referred a writer to a press release and more information on the company website.

But Aeroplan spokesperson Christa Poole told Loyalty360: “We are disappointed, but are looking forward. We are, of course, exploring a range of options beyond 2020. Our members will continue to be at the center of our program. Our focus is on Aeroplan and making it the stronger program it can be for its members and partners over the next three years and after June 2020.”

Benjamin Smith, president, passenger airlines, said the new loyalty program will offer additional earning and redemption opportunities, more personalized service, and a better digital experience for Air Canada customers.

Over the past decade, Air Canada has invested $10 billion in renewing its fleet with the most technologically-capable aircraft and to elevating its product offering, including all-new seats, Wi-Fi connectivity, expanded and renovated Maple Leaf Lounges, increased digital capabilities and updated branding comprised of a new livery, new uniforms and much more to improve the travel experience.

“Similar to all of Air Canada’s North American peers, by managing our own loyalty program, we will be able to take better care of our customers by making decisions in real time that address specific needs,” Smith added. “We’re excited to take this next step that delivers on our promise for continued investments in the customer experience.”

During the next three years, Air Canada is committed to business as usual by working closely with Aimia with the objective of providing consistent service for Aeroplan members. 

During this period, Aeroplan members can continue to earn and redeem miles in accordance with the Aeroplan program:

Before the new Air Canada program launches in June 2020, members will be able to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles for Aeroplan Rewards, including flights with Air Canada and our Star Alliance partners in accordance with the Aeroplan program.

After June 2020, miles earned from Air Canada and Star Alliance flights will be credited to the new program, with customers able to redeem those miles for rewards including Air Canada and Star Alliance partner flights.

Aeroplan miles earned up to June 2020 will stay in Aeroplan members' accounts, and will continue to be subject to the conditions of their program.

Air Canada intends to continue to offer Aimia redemption seats for Aeroplan members after June 2020, with pricing competitive with other third-party rewards programs.

The airline’s most frequent flyers will continue to enjoy Air Canada Altitude status recognition and its associated range of travel privileges, based on their annual flight activities with Air Canada and the Star Alliance member airlines. All Million Mile program qualification activity and status will also be honored in the new program.

The new Air Canada loyalty program will be focused on improved rewards and recognition for the airline's customers and will provide Air Canada and our business partners with significant growth opportunities.

According to Air Canada’s website, the goal in announcing this change three years ahead of time is to provide as much advance notice as possible.

Here is some other important information for program members:

Before the new Air Canada program launches in June 2020 you will be able to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles for Aeroplan Rewards, including flights with Air Canada and our Star Alliance partners.

All Air Canada and Star Alliance activity after June 2020 will be earned into the new program, and you will be able to redeem miles for rewards including Air Canada and Star Alliance partner flights.

Aeroplan Miles earned up to June 2020 stay in your Aeroplan account and may be redeemed for Aeroplan Rewards. Beyond June 2020, Air Canada expects to continue making Air Canada flights available for Aeroplan redemption. Star Alliance partner rewards will only be available through the new Air Canada program.

Approximately 12 months prior to launch (mid-2019), Air Canada will begin communicating the key specifics about the new Air Canada program. This will include details regarding account setup, enrollment incentives, and more.

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