Air Canada has launched yet another new airline partnership, this time with Mexican regional airline Aeromar.
While the partnership currently only takes the form of an interline agreement, the two airlines have jointly confirmed that the ability to redeem Aeroplan points for Aeromar flights is expected to be in place by the summer of 2022.
As a small airline based in Mexico City, Aeromar will serve as a great connection hub for Aeroplan members who wish to fly to smaller Mexican destinations beyond the likes of Puerto Vallarta and Cancún.
Air Canada and Aeromar’s New Interline Agreement
Air Canada and Aeromar have kicked off their partnership with an interline agreement, which means that travellers can now book connecting itineraries on both airlines on a single itinerary.
Indeed, if you search for some of Aeromar’s destinations on the Air Canada website, you’ll see options for paid flights ticketed by Air Canada with intra-Mexico segments operated by Aeromar:
Reciprocal mileage earning and redeeming capabilities has not yet been added, with the airlines jointly confirming that Aeromar is expected to launch as a new Aeroplan partner before the summer:
The airlines are also committed to exploring deeper cooperation in the form of a codeshare relationship and are currently working on the launch of Aeromar as a partner of Air Canada’s Aeroplan program. Expected to be in place before summer 2022, this cooperation will be Aeroplan’s only partner airline based in Mexico, offering members even more options to accrue and redeem Aeroplan points on all Aeromar operated flights.
Let’s take a look at some new Aeromar routes that we’ll soon be able to redeem for. Aeromar’s route map is as follows, spanning destinations in Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba, and the US state of Texas:
(The colour of the lines are of little importance, as they represent which are operated by Aeromar and which by subsidiaries. The experience will be largely the same.)
Assuming the Aeromar partnership works the same as Aeroplan’s 45+ other partner airlines, we’ll be able to combine Aeromar flights with Air Canada and other partner flights to build a fully fleshed out itinerary to Mexico.
Currently, Air Canada only serves a handful of cities in Mexico. While United Airlines does serve many more, award space isn’t the easiest to come by.
I’d expect Aeromar award space to be more plentiful, which should open up all their destinations as easy one-stop possibilities from Canada, such as Villahermosa (VSA), Colima (CLQ), and Ixtepec (IZT).
As a refresher, here’s Aeroplan’s award chart for flights within North America:
Any flight solely on Aeromar will cost on Aeromar would cost just 6,000 Aeroplan points in economy class if it’s less than 500 miles in distance flown, and 10,000 Aeroplan points in economy class if it’s under 1,500 miles in distance flown.
The vast majority of flights will fall under the first distance band, while a few individual flights such as Mexico City (MEX) – Piedras Negras (PDS) would fall in the wider band, as would most connections via the Mexican capital.
Connections within North America are where the Aeromar partnership would really shine. Flying to the majority of Aeromar’s network via Mexico City on a direct flight from Air Canada will be under 2,750 miles, meaning that it will cost only 12,500 points one-way in economy class or 25,000 points one-way in business class.
And while you may recall that Aeroplan stopovers are not allowed in Canada and the United States, they are very much allowed in Mexico.
You could therefore fly to Cancún, relax on the beach for a couple days, and then continue onwards to Guatemala. This routing would cost 12,500 points in economy class or 25,000 points in business class, plus an additional 5,000 points for the stopover.
What’s Aeromar’s Onboard Product Like?
As you can expect from an airline with a mostly domestic route network, Aeromar flies a total of 10 planes of two types: the ATR 42-600 and the ATR 72-600.
These are small, narrow-body turboprops. Therefore, Aeromar operates only in economy class; however, you’ll find them to be decently comfortable, with a 2-2 seating arrangement rather than 3-3 on larger regional planes.
On another note, I expect service to vibrant once onboard – just check out the home page of the Aeromar website.
Aeroplan and Air Canada’s steady addition of new partners is a breath of fresh air compared to other frequent flyer programs.
After building a strong roster of partner airlines in 2021, the program is set to make its first foray into Mexico with a new Aeromar partnership, scheduled to launch by the summer of 2022.
While the soon-to-be-added Aeromar partnership may not as sexy as Oman Air’s 787 First Class or Gulf Air’s Apex Suites, it still provides the fundamentals by expanding the program’s overall range of accessible destinations.
Since it’s so close to home, Mexico is an extremely popular destination among Canadians, and I expect award redemptions on Aeromar to be quite popular once this partnership takes off.