The brand overhaul is due to the merger of owner British Airways (BA) with Iberia to form International Airlines Group (IAG) and the need to create a common points currency across all territories.
The company says the changes will see new customer benefits, such as more opportunities for collecting points and greater flexibility, for instance the ability to book one way flights with points. Previously AirMiles could only be used for return bookings.
The scheme will continue to be run by BA subsidiary The Mileage Company in the UK and AirMiles current customers are being introduced to the brand today (1 September) via direct mail and email channels.
Head of brand at The Mileage Company Rahul Patel says that the Avios name has been tested and researched across several markets and while it is a created name, it does have resonance in connection with aviation.
He adds: “The ambition is to make the points a much more desirable and valuable currency than they currently are.”
The Avios brand development has been co-created with Interbrand and a full brand campaign will begin on 16 November developed by creative company 101.
The campaign will embrace television, outdoor and print advertising along with social media, digital and PR activity and will continue the AirMiles positioning of “Rewarding Travel”.
Avios will maintain its commercial partnerships for points collection with brands such as Tesco, Lloyds TSB and Shell.
Both BA’s Executive Club and Iberia’s Iberia Plus programmes will remain as separate brands.
AirMiles launched in 1988 and celebrated its 21st anniversary in 2009 with a raft of promotions.