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Air Canada frequent flyer program part of strategy to become more digital, CEO says

MONTREAL—Air Canada’s plans to develop its own frequent flyer program are one of several digitization initiatives the airline is pursuing to meet the varying needs of its 45 million passengers a year, CEO Calin Rovinescu says.Weeks after Air Canada announced it was ditching Aeroplan, Rovinescu said the decision was part of the company’s broader strategy to become more digital in its operations. That includes looking at working with artificial intelligence specialists to recognize patterns in customer data and employing augmented reality to change how employees learn and collaborate.Using data analytics on information collected from frequent flyers will help the airline better understand their shopping patterns, improve service and build loyalty, Rovinescu said. Air Canada plans to launch its own loyalty rewards plan in 2020.“By bringing it in house, it will enable us to be much, much closer to our customers in terms of the offers that can be made and having the ability to in some respects deal directly with our key frequent flyers,” he said in an interview.Read more: Article Continued BelowAir Canada plans to replace Aeroplan in 2020 with new loyalty program5 things to know about Aeroplan points and Air CanadaAeroplan operator confident it can survive without Air Canada

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