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Aimia, AirAsia and Think Big Digital form partnership to grow the AirAsia BIG Loyalty Program

Aimia Inc., a global leader in loyalty management headquartered in Canada, AirAsia Berhad, Asia's fastest growing and largest low-cost airline, and Think Big Digital Sdn Bhd, 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 program."

"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."

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