Air Canada cutting ties with Aeroplan: What you need to know

Air Canada cutting ties with Aeroplan: What you need to know

After that, miles earned will be credited to the new program. Aeroplan members can continue to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles for Aeroplan Rewards, including flights with Air Canada and their Star Alliance Partners until June 2020.

Aimia also said it would work towards a smooth transition with Air Canada so that services for Aeroplan members aren't interrupted.

However, when the current contract between Aeroplan's parent company Aimia and Air Canada expires in 2020, the airline will unveil a new frequent flyer scheme which it will once again fully own and operate.

The Montreal-based airline (TSX:AC) says customers will be able to continue collecting Aeroplan points until June 2020, after which miles earned from flying on Air Canada or its 26 Star Alliance partners will be credited to the in-house loyalty program instead.

"This decision is the right one for our customers, our employees and our shareholders", Air Canada CEO Calin Rovinescu said.

Air Canada hasn't indicated if Aeroplan points would post-2020 be transferrable to its new rewards currency, but says it intends to offer redemption of Aeroplan seats to members after the new loyalty program launches "with pricing competitive with other third-party rewards programs".

Air Canada began spinning off its loyalty program in 2002, and it was fully independent by 2008.

Air Canada announced the plan in a news release on Thursday, touting it as a way to "strengthen its customer relationships and deliver a more consistent end-to-end customer experience".

Len Dvorkin of Thornhill, Ont., hasn't made up his mind if he'll stick with Aeroplan or move to Air Canada's new program.

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Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and global airline serving more than 200 airports on six continents. It suggested the program will continue in some form after that, telling customers, "We are now exploring a range of options beyond 2020".

Chapman added that Aeroplan may have to scramble to find a new strategy, as its offerings become more fractured without Air Canada as a major partner.

He said the majority of Aeroplan members earn points not through flying but rather shopping while using those affiliated cards.

Because Air Canada miles and Aeroplan miles apparently won't be transferable, some people may decide to pledge allegiance to both programs. His interim replacement, David Johnston, takes over the role.

Analysts called the news positive for the airline.

Members may lose their ability to use Aeroplan miles on Air Canada and other Star Alliances when the contract ends, but that's not a sure thing.

I've booked an Air Canada flight using Aeroplan points.

Those contracts expire in 2024, Johnston said, adding he's not anxious those companies will choose to follow Air Canada's lead.

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