Aeroplan targets Mexico
Bid to turn frequent flyer programme into coalition scheme
Groupe Aeroplan is investing US$22m to acquire a minority stake in the frequent flyer programme of Mexico’s largest domestic airline.
The deal with AeroMexico will see its frequent flyer programme Club Premier converted to a standalone coalition loyalty programme. If certain performance milestones are met within the first 18 months of closing, Groupe Aeroplan has the option to invest another US$12m.
The investment is the Montreal-based company’s first specifically involving an airline outside the Canadian market. Its primary partner is Air Canada.
“This is our first opportunity to replicate the successful evolution of Aeroplan Canada from a frequent flyer program into a profitable coalition loyalty programme,” he said during a conference call.
“As Groupe Aeroplan’s first investment in an international frequent flyer program, this transaction represents a significant strategic milestone,” said Rupert Duchesne, chief executive with Groupe Aeroplan. “Mexico is a high-growth market and one of the largest countries of our global expansion strategy.”
Duchesne said the partnership with a leading company in the world’s 11th largest economy also provides an entry into the high-growth Latin American market.
Andres Conesa, the chief executive of AeroMexico, said Club Premier had 2.5 million members and 50 partners.
Groupe Aeroplan said it will have proportional representation on Club Premier’s board, and is considering an initial public offering of Club Premier in the future.
Groupe Aeroplan owns Aeroplan, one of the largest loyalty programmes in Canada, as well as the Nectar coalition scheme in the UK, and has interests in loyalty programmes in the Middle East and Italy.