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AIR CANADA AND CITIBANK CANADA TO FORM STRATEGIC COMMERCIAL ALLIANCE LEADING TO CO-BRANDED enROUTE/DINERS CLUB CARD

AIR CANADA AND CITIBANK CANADA TO FORM STRATEGIC COMMERCIAL ALLIANCE
 LEADING TO CO-BRANDED enROUTE/DINERS CLUB CARD
 MONTREAL, March 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Air Canada, Citibank Canada and Diners Club today signed a letter of intent whereby Citibank Canada will purchase the enRoute business. The assets of enRoute have a net value in excess of Cdn.$300 million. The letter of intent also calls for the formation of a strategic commercial alliance between Air Canada and Diners Club. Key to the agreement is the co-branding of the enRoute Card with the Diners Club Card.
 The alliance will deliver tangible advantages to Cardmembers: the co-branded enRoute/Diners Club Card customers will have access to the growing network of more than 2.1 million establishment locations worldwide that welcome Diners Club. This will significantly improve the attractiveness of the existing enRoute product. enRoute/Diners Club Cardmembers will earn miles on Air Canada's Aeroplane program through spending on the Card. Co-branded Maple Leaf Gold Cardmembers will continue to enjoy access to Maple Leaf airport lounges.
 The transaction makes sound business sense for Air Canada and Citibank Canada. The move is consistent with Air Canada's plan to concentrate efforts on strengthening and growing its core business of commercial airline activity. Air Canada has expressed this interest for some time and has carefully evaluated appropriate alternatives.
 "enRoute needed support from a major card issuer on the world scene to realize its full potential and enhance its value to cardholders; the new co-branded card issued by Diners Club will enable achievement of this goal," said Hollis Harris, Air Canada's president and CEO. This transaction provides Air Canada with a strong commercial alliance while allowing the airline to convert its investment in enRoute into cash for use in its core business.
 The transaction also makes strategic sense for Citibank Canada which recently reacquired the Canadian Diners Club franchise. "Our alliance with the number one airline in Canada leverages the strength of both companies and brings the best of both worlds to Cardmembers," said Robert Rousseau, president and CEO of Diners Club. It also builds market presence by adding a customer base consistent with Diners Club positioning in the travel and entertainment marketplace. The new alliance will maximize the benefits already offered by Diners Club, as well as deliver the frequent flyer program of Canada's leading carrier to a broad base of Cardmembers.
 The transaction is subject to regulatory approval as well as completion of the due diligence process and signing of the final agreement.
 During this period, it will be business as usual for enRoute and Diners Club customers and the service establishments that accept the cards. As soon as transition plans are finalized, specific details will be announced to customers and other key constituencies.
 -0- 3/26/92 R
 /CONTACT: Denis Couture of Air Canada, 514-879-7765; or Susan Weeks of Citicorp, 212-559-0580/ CO: Air Canada; Citicorp ST: New York, Quebec IN: FIN AIR SU:


SB-TS -- NY029 -- 2033 03/26/92 14:17 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 26, 1992
Words:495
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