TORONTO — The saga over Aeroplan came to a close yesterday, with news that the consortium led by Air Canada has reached a deal to acquire the loyalty program from Aimia Inc. The deal, worth $450 million cash plus assumed liabilities, comes after more than a year of uncertainty since Air Canada said in May 2017 that it would switch to its own loyalty program in July 2020.
Here are some significant dates in Aeroplan’s history:
1984: Air Canada creates the frequent flyers loyalty program Aeroplan
1991: The CIBC Aerogold Visa card is launched
2000: Rupert Duchesne becomes CEO of Aeroplan
2002: Aeroplan operates as a subsidiary of Air Canada
2004: Aeroplan adds non-flight rewards
2005: Air Canada spins off Aeroplan, which completes a public offering as an income trust
2006: Aeroplan launches program allowing members to donate miles to charities
2007: Aeroplan launches carbon offset program, allowing members to use miles to offset their carbon footprint
2007: Aeroplan says miles will expire after seven years of being collected, effective in January 2014
2008: Air Canada sells its remaining stake in Aeroplan, which becomes a corporation operating as Groupe Aeroplan
2011: Groupe Aeroplan changes name to Aimia Inc., as its strategy shifts to include loyalty programs operating outside of Canada
2013: TD Bank becomes Aeroplan’s main financial partner after assuming about half of CIBC’s Visa Aeroplan card customers
2013: Aeroplan backtracks and cancels seven-year mileage redemption policy after angry customers launch class-action lawsuit
May 11, 2017: Duchesne leaves the company after four-month medical leave of absence
May 11, 2017: Air Canada announces that it will not renew its Aeroplan partnership in 2020 as it starts its own rewards program. Aimia shares plunge 63 per cent on the day
April 2018: Aimia announces the resignation of CEO David Johnston
May 2018: Jeremy Rabe appointed Aimia’s president and CEO
July 19, 2018: Aimia announces plans to relaunch the Aeroplan program with charter flights and use of miles for any seats on any airline
July 25, 2018: Air Canada, CIBC, TD Bank and Visa Canada offer to acquire Aeroplan for $2.25 billion, including $250 million cash plus assumed liabilities
July 27, 2018: Air Canada says it would restart talks with credit card partners to create its own loyalty program if Aimia fails to accept its offer within six days
Aug. 2, 2018: Aimia confirms talks with Oneworld airline alliance; talks with Air Canada fail despite higher $325 million offer
Aug. 3, 2018: Aimia announces deal with Porter Airlines to become an Aeroplan preferred Canadian airline as of July 2020
Aug. 6, 2018: Mittleman Brothers LLC, largest
shareholder in Aimia, issues public statement saying Air Canada’s offers were too low and suggesting Aeroplan was worth about $1.2 billion.
Aug. 7, 2018: Aimia adds Air Transat and Flair Airlines to its list of Canadian airline partners.
Aug. 21, 2018: Aimia reaches agreement with Air Canada-led consortium, which will pay $450 million in cash for Aeroplan and assume about $1.9 billion in liabilities associated with miles collected by customers.
With file from The Canadian Press