Aimia, AirAsia and Think Big Digital Form Partnership to Grow the AirAsia BIG Loyalty Program


Global Loyalty Leader joins with Asia’s Fastest Growing Low Cost Airline
and Think Big Digital Sdn Bhd to Grow World Class Loyalty Program in

– Aimia Inc. (TSX: AIM) (“Aimia”), a global leader in loyalty
management headquartered in Canada, AirAsia Berhad (“AirAsia”), Asia’s
fastest growing and largest low-cost airline, and Think Big Digital
(“Think Big”) Sdn Bhd, today announced the signing of an agreement for
Aimia’s acquisition of a minority stake in Think Big, the owner and
operator of BIG – AirAsia and Tune Group’s loyalty program.

Aimia will initially invest approximately C$17 million with up to an
additional C$7 million to be invested if certain milestones are
achieved by December 31, 2015.

The partnership combines AirAsia’s unrivaled success in the Asian
market, which has seen it grow from just two aircraft to more than 160
in 12 years, Tune Group’s portfolio of successful companies including
hotels, pre-paid Visa cards, insurance and music companies – and
Aimia’s unmatched expertise in the design and management of
travel-based loyalty programs, to provide BIG members and partners with
a loyalty proposition that is truly rewarding.

“The partnership between AirAsia, Think Big Digital and Aimia is yet
another way that AirAsia and Tune Group are innovating and driving
change in the Asian airline market – all to the benefit of our members,
guests and investors,” said Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia and
co-founder of Tune Group. “With its experience running the world’s
largest standalone frequent flyer programs, the Aimia team has unique
and invaluable insight. We are thrilled to be working together to
leverage that knowledge as we continue to grow the AirAsia BIG loyalty

“The AirAsia BIG loyalty program is a great opportunity to export
Aimia’s coalition business model and to help our partners create deep
and lasting relationships with their customers,” said Rupert Duchesne,
Aimia’s Group Chief Executive. “Through this partnership with AirAsia
and Tune Group, we look forward to sharing our experience with the BIG
program, while also growing our presence in the high-potential Asian
loyalty market.”

AirAsia BIG loyalty program spans across Southeast Asia, a growing
market with a population of 634 million. The region is ranked fourth
globally in airline market size.

The AirAsia BIG loyalty program continues to benefit from the growing
customer base of both AirAsia and Tune Group. It has already attracted
a broad coalition of partners ranging from credit card companies,
retail stores, petrol stations, and insurance and telecom firms, in
addition to the AirAsia and Tune Group family partners.

“With AirAsia’s customer base of over 43 million guests a year, the
potential of BIG to deliver deeper, more meaningful relationships to a
broad membership base is significant,” said Alice Goh, CEO AirAsia BIG
loyalty program. “We believe that this potential extends beyond flight
revenues and we look forward to working with all BIG partners to build
a cutting-edge program.”

Asia represents a key region for Aimia as we expand our presence
globally, and we believe the partnership between ourselves, AirAsia and
Tune Group provides a fantastic platform to further demonstrate our
unique capabilities in the loyalty industry,” added Marc Allsop,
Aimia’s Senior Vice President of Global Business Development. “This
partnership brings three innovative, forward-thinking brands together
for the long-term benefit of our customers.”

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

Forward-looking statements are included in this news release. These
forward-looking statements are identified by the use of terms and
phrases such as “anticipate”, “believe”, “could”, “estimate”, “expect”,
“intend”, “may”, “plan”, “predict”, “project”, “will”, “would”, and
“should” and similar terms and phrases, including references to
assumptions. Such statements may involve but are not limited to
comments with respect to strategies, expectations, planned operations
or future actions.

Forward-looking statements, by their nature, are based on assumptions
and are subject to important risks and uncertainties. Any forecasts,
predictions or forward-looking statements cannot be relied upon due to,
among other things, changing external events and general uncertainties
of the business and its corporate structure. Results indicated in
forward-looking statements may differ materially from actual results
for a number of reasons, including without limitation, dependency on
top accumulation partners and clients, changes to the Aeroplan Program,
conflicts of interest, greater than expected redemptions for rewards,
regulatory matters, retail market/economic conditions, industry
competition, Air Canada liquidity issues, Air Canada or travel industry
disruptions, airline industry changes and increased airline costs,
supply and capacity costs, unfunded future redemption costs, failure to
safeguard databases and consumer privacy, changes to coalition loyalty
programs, seasonal nature of the business, other factors and prior
performance, foreign operations, legal proceedings, reliance on key
personnel, labour relations, pension liability, technological
disruptions and inability to use third party software, failure to
protect intellectual property rights, interest rate and currency
fluctuations, leverage and restrictive covenants in current and future
indebtedness, uncertainty of dividend payments, managing growth, credit
ratings, as well as the other factors identified in this news release
and throughout Aimia’s public disclosure record on file with the
Canadian securities regulatory authorities.

The forward-looking statements contained herein represent Aimia’s
expectations as of January 29, 2014, and are subject to change after
such date. However, Aimia disclaims any intention or obligation to
update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of
new information, future events or otherwise, except as required under
applicable securities regulations.

About Aimia
Aimia Inc. (“Aimia” or the “Corporation”) is a global leader in loyalty
management. Employing more than 4,000 people in over 20 countries
worldwide, Aimia offers clients, partners and members proven expertise
in launching and managing coalition loyalty programs, delivering
proprietary loyalty services, creating value through loyalty analytics
and driving innovation in the emerging digital, mobile and social
communications spaces.

Aimia owns and operates Aeroplan, Canada’s premier coalition loyalty
program, Nectar, the United Kingdom’s largest coalition loyalty
program, Nectar Italia and Smart Button a leading provider of SaaS
loyalty solutions. In addition, Aimia owns stakes in Air Miles Middle
East, Mexico’s leading coalition loyalty program Club
Premier, Brazil’s Prismah Fidelidade, China Rewards – the
first coalition loyalty program in China that enables members to earn
and redeem a common currency, and i2c, a joint venture
with Sainsbury’s offering insight and data analytics services in
the UK to retailers and suppliers. Aimia also holds a minority position
in Cardlytics, a US-based private company operating in card-linked
marketing for electronic banking. Aimia is listed on the Toronto Stock
Exchange (TSX: AIM). For more information, visit us at

About The AirAsia Group

AirAsia, the leading and largest low-cost carrier in Asia, services the
most extensive network with 121 destinations. Within 12 years of
operations, AirAsia has carried over 220 million guests and grown its
fleet from just two aircraft to over 160. The airline today is proud to
be a truly Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) airline with
established operations based in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the
servicing a network stretching across all Asean countries
as well as China, India and Australia. AirAsia was named the World’s
Best Low Cost Airline in the annual World Airline Survey by Skytrax for
five consecutive years from 2009 – 2013.

About Think Big Digital
Think Big Digital Sdn. Bhd., is a joint venture between AirAsia and Tune
Money and operates the Air Asia BIG Loyalty Programme. Air Asia BIG is
the global points currency serving AirAsia and the Tune Group. Under
the programme, members earn BIG points from AirAsia, Tune Talk, Tune
Hotels, and many other partners including Budget, Avis, Starhub, DTAC,
Petronas, and major banks such as DBS, Citibank, CIMB, Standard
Chartered Bank, Bank Mandiri, BRI, Siam Commercial Bank and Bangkok
Bank.In conjunction with Tune Money, Think Big Digital provides the
loyalty program for the BIG Visa Prepaid Card, co-branded and affinity
payment products, giving cardholders the opportunity to earn Points and
redeem for AirAsia flights and many other specialty merchandise and
hotel rewards.


Image with caption: “Rupert Duchesne, Aimia’s Group Chief Executive and Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia and co-founder of Tune Group celebrate the announcement of a partnership to Grow the AirAsia BIG Loyalty Program. (CNW Group/AIMIA)”. Image available at:



Media Contacts

Krista Pawley
Vice President Global Communications, Aimia
+1 416 352 3794

Jenny Wakana

Branding and Communications,

603 8660 4333

Investor Contact:
Karen Keyes
Senior Vice President, Investor Relations, Aimia
+1 647 428 5280

Benyamin Ismail
Investor Relations, AirAsia
603 8775 4499

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