Case Study

High flying commerce for a company with global ambitions.

Aimia Takes Online Reward Redemption to New Height

Aimia wanted to become a global leader in loyalty management by expanding their loyalty program and promoting non-air rewards such as electronics, consumer goods and experiential gifts and indulgences which would be offered through an expanding eco-system of partners.
Key Takeaways
  • Amalgamated hundreds of partner products into a single catalog powered by Elastic Path Commerce.
  • One ecommerce platform to seamless handle non-air rewards from hundreds of partners.
  • Works with Aimia's existing transactional data.
  • Ability to service customers in multiple languages from the same software instance, offering true multi-lingual commerce capability.
  • Extreme flexibility due largely to Elastic Path Commerce to use almost any type of database engine.
  • High availability deployment and stable tech stack of the industry's best open source software projects.

Business Problem

Canada's national airline, Air Canada, is renowned for its expansive service and aircrafts adorned with the iconic red maple leaf. Equally well known is its loyalty program, Aeroplan. Create in 1984 by Air Canada as an incentive program for its frequent flyer customers, there are now more than 4.6 million active members in the program. With its popularity soaring, Aeroplan - now owned by Aimia - sought to diversify into a comprehensive customer loyalty program with hundreds of participating retailers offering its members non-air rewards such as hotel discounts, car rentals, vacation packages, groceries, credit cards and other rewards. This diversification allowed members to use mileage credits beyond the limited number of flights available from just Air Canada.
Man diving in clear water

One of the best benefits of Elastic Path Commerce is that it's future proof. Going forward, we'll be able to create magical new experiences that no one has even thought of yet.

Sean Burke-Gaffney, Web Development Manager, Aeroplan

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As a large enterprise, Aimia had dozens of legacy systems to contend with. The proposed architecture called for the adoption of an approach based on Web Services, allowing it to integrate with systems in a modular way.

This required an ecommerce platform that would fit into their existing IT infrastructure, be flexible enough to take on unique requirements such as amalgamating hundreds of partner products into a single catalog, and provide multi-lingual capabilities to serve their members in both French and English.


Elastic Path Commerce provided the software to manage the catalog of merchandise Aeroplan would be offering as an alternative to flight rewards. Aimia's leadership was attracted to Elastic Path because of its emphasis on flexibility and evidenced by its use of open-source technologies. Aeroplan also took advantage of Elastic Path's support for the open source MySQL database, whereas many competing systems require Oracle as a data store.

Aimia also wanted to partner with Elastic Path because of its experience with professional services and large-scale commerce implementations. Together, Aimia and the Elastic Path Professional Services team worked closely through the integration to link up multiple systems and data sources. The Elastic Path team had to coordinate with several parties spanning multiple time zones and completed the project ahead of schedule.
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In 2013, approximately 2.3 million rewards were issued to memebrs including more than 1.5 million flights on Air Canada and Star Alliance carriers. Elastic Path Commerce was able to handle the complexity of the Aeroplan rewards catalog and gave Aimia the ability to publish its catalog in multiple languages.


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