July 27, 2018 / 1:30 PM / 18 days ago

Offer for frequent flyer program not 'hostile bid' -Air Canada CEO

MONTREAL, July 27 (Reuters) - Air Canada's recent offer with partners to buy back a frequent flyer program from Aimia is not a "hostile bid," and if accepted, would accelerate the carrier's "original strategy" of launching its own loyalty program, the airline's chief executive said on Friday.

"The consortium's proposal is not a hostile bid as characterized by some," CEO Calin Rovinescu told analysts, adding Aimia is "entirely free to accept or reject" it.

Air Canada said Aimia has until Aug. 2 to respond to the proposal to buy back the Canadian airline's previous Aeroplan frequent flyer program for C$2.25 billion ($1.72 billion). ($1 = 1.3065 Canadian dollars) (Reporting By Allison Lampert)

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