Higher billing income helped propel first-quarter profits at Aeroplan Income Fund’s operating division Aeroplan LP up 54 percent, but the company says investors in the travel rewards fund shouldn’t expect a similar performance throughout the year.
“While we saw good growth in our gross billings across all our partners this quarter, it should be noted that part of that growth, around about $5 million worth, is due to an increase in the number of miles sold to Air Canada,” CEO Rupert Duchesne said during a conference call.
That sales increase was related to benefits packages for Super Elite, Elite or Prestige members — an event that will not repeat itself in each of the remaining quarters of 2006, he said.
A number of those members chose to redeem the additional Aeroplan miles which resulted in higher-than-normal gross billings from Air Canada.
The first quarter is also typically the stronger quarter for redemptions as members plan their vacations for the year after accumulating points in the third and fourth quarters.
During the quarter, Aeroplan issued 16.5 billion miles, compared with 14.7 billion a year ago. A total of 15.6 billion miles were redeemed, compared with last year’s 15.4 billion.