AirMiles to offer loyalty scheme services

AirMiles is launching a specialist division called The Mileage Company to offer management services for existing or new loyalty schemes.

The Mileage Company will be a wholly owned subsidiary of British Airways and will run AirMiles and take responsibility for maximising the global commercial success of British Airways’ own reward currency, BA Miles.

The Mileage Company will also market its expertise to run other frequent flyer and leisure reward programmes for UK and worldwide airlines and brands.

The company has expertise in loyalty programmes from set-up to management of rewards, including research and loyalty analytics and customer relationship management.

The company will also have access to BA’s stock of unsold airline seats to help develop offers for existing partners and scheme members.

The launch comes as companies re-evaluate loyalty schemes as tools to retain customers during the economic downturn.

The company will be led by AirMiles marketing director Andrew Swaffield and chaired by BA director of strategy and business units Robert Boyle.

Swaffield says: “Reward programmes satisfy consumers’ desire to get a real return on their money, thereby making them want to stay loyal to the brand.”

Rival loyalty reward company Groupe Aeroplan, which runs the Nectar rewards programme, has just appointed Jan-Pieter Lips as managing director (marketingweek.co.uk, March 13).

Groupe Aeroplan bought Loyalty Management Group, originally launched by Sir Keith Mills, in 2007 for £350m.

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