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Air Transat and Flair Airlines sign deals with Aeroplan

Two more Canadian airlines have signed up to participate in the Aeroplan loyalty programme, moves that further distance Aeroplan from reliance on current primary partner Air Canada.

Leisure carrier Air Transat and upstart Flair Airlines have both signed deals with Aeroplan owner Aimia to become "preferred" partners in the Aeroplan programme.

The new deals with Air Transat and Flair take effect in July 2020. At that time, Aeroplan members will be able to earn and redeem Aeroplan miles on either carrier, Aimia says in media releases.

Air Transat's existing mileage programme Air Miles will remain effective, that carrier says.

The releases do not specify terms or the significance of the so-called "preferred" partnership.

However, a recent "preferred" deal between Aeroplan and Porter Airlines gives Aeroplan access to discounted Porter seats and gives Porter access to Aeroplan's marketing power, Porter chief commercial officer Michael Deluce told FlightGlobal last week. Aeroplan is currently Air Canada's loyalty programme, but that carrier is developing a new, in-house loyalty programme that will replace Aeroplan on 30 June 2020, Air Canada has said.

As part of that strategy, Air Canada in recent weeks offered to purchase Aeroplan for C$250 million ($193 million) in cash and about C$2 billion in liabilities.

But Aimia rejected those offers.

Aimia intends to broaden Aeroplan beyond its primary reliance on Air Canada by signing deals with other airlines and by enabling customers by 2020 to book seats on any airline worldwide, Aimia chief executive Jeremy Rabe told investors last week.

Aimia then announced the deal with Porter.

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