July 27, 2018 / 1:36 PM / 3 months ago

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

MONTREAL (Reuters) - Air Canada’s (AC.TO) recent offer with partners to buy back a frequent flyer program from Aimia (AIM.TO) 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.

Calin Rovinescu, CEO of Air Canada speaks during a panel discussion on Cyber Security at the 2016 International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit in Dublin, Ireland June 3, 2016. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

“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).

Reporting By Allison Lampert

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