Air Canada has confirmed its intention to spin off its Aeroplan frequent flyer program as a separate unit.
- Mr. Milton did not close the door to selling part of Aeroplan to a private buyer. But he said buyout firm Onex Corp. is not in the picture as a potential purchaser. Onex had a deal with Air Canada to buy a 35% stake in Aeroplan for $245-million before that fell apart with the airline’s bankruptcy protection filing. Onex said recently that it was still interested in the unit.
Mr. Milton offered no specific timing for the sale. He said the company is working on legal and regulatory issues to ready its public debut.
Aeroplan is worth in the range of $1.3-billion to $1.9-billion.
In January Randy Petersen wrote that Air Canada would likely be the first program to spin off its loyalty program, and that United might follow suit — with Mileage Plus worth a full $2.5 billion or more.