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UPDATE 1-Air Canada to launch own loyalty program; shares soar
May 11, 2017 / 2:48 PM / 7 months ago

UPDATE 1-Air Canada to launch own loyalty program; shares soar

(Adds shares, analyst comment)

May 11 (Reuters) - Air Canada said on Thursday it would launch its own loyalty program in 2020, replacing the current program, Aeroplan, sending its shares to their highest in nearly 10 years.

Shares of Canada’s biggest carrier gained for the sixth straight day and rose as much as 7.3 percent to C$15.97 in morning trading.

Air Canada’s contract with Aimia Inc, which owns and operates Aeroplan, will be in effect until June 29, 2020.

The move “greatly improves” Air Canada’s ability to manage its revenue, analysts at AltaCorp Capital said in a client note.

“The new program, launching in 2020, will offer additional earning and redemption opportunities, more personalized service and a better digital experience for Air Canada customers,” Benjamin Smith, president of Air Canada’s passenger airlines business said.

The airline said last week that it had not ruled out expanding its own discounted offering to take on the new ultra low-cost carrier planned by smaller rival WestJet Airlines .

Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D'Couto

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