Aimia urges patience in revamp of Aeroplan
• The operator of the Aeroplan loyalty program is urging members to be patient as it seeks a new airline partner while working to broaden the card’s travel offerings after its relationship with Air Canada changes in mid-2020.
“We need to be realistic around the speed that we can move with potential partners in the context where our current agreement is still in place for the next 21/2 years,” Aimia Inc. CEO David Johnston said on a call to discuss third-quarter results.
He said Thursday the company is working with “a high degree of urgency” but won’t be rushed. Air Canada served notice in May that it does not plan to renew its 30-year-plus partnership with Aeroplan parent Aimia when the current contract ends.
The airline has invited key financial institutions to participate in bids to join its own loyalty program and expects to issue a request for proposals early next year.
“I’m not linking my timing with Air Canada’s timing,” Johnston said in an interview. “I’m focusing on the priorities in my business.”
Those include getting new airline partnerships. Aimia has been working to broaden Aeroplan beyond just being a flight provider. It signed up Avis Car Rental and launched a promotion with Marriott hotels.
A weaker performance in its international operations increased Aimia’s net loss for the period ended Sept. 30 to $40.3 million, or 26 cents per share, compared with a loss of $ 1.5 million, or four cents per share, a year ago.