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Changes to Emirates' Skywards Miles program will run through until January 31. It would mean using more miles for upgrades. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: Emirates airline is raising the number of Skywards Miles required for passenger upgrades to Business or First class.

The airline said in a statement that the increase was decided in line with market conditions. The changes will be gradually introduced on reward-linked tickets across the Emirates network until January 31.

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This would primarily impact the first-tier Emirates Skywards ‘Blue’ members. However, the airline said it would increase the bonus Skywards Miles earning opportunities for all Platinum, Gold and Silver members.

“On all Emirates flights booked from January 31 onwards, Skywards Platinum members will earn a further 100 per cent of the Economy Flex+ Miles earned on a given route (increasing from 75 per cent),” said the statement.

“Skywards Gold members will earn 75 per cent of the Economy Flex+ Miles earned on a given route (increasing from 50 per cent), and Skywards Silver Members will earn 30 per cent of the Economy Flex+ Miles earned on a given way (rising from 25 per cent),” said the spokesperson.

Emirates has one of the most popular - and reliable - loyalty programs, according to travel agents.

They add that despite the devaluation of Skywards Miles' points, passengers are 'well aware of the value it offers them'. Moreover, during COVID-19, Emirates extended the validity of these miles to passengers free of cost. And the facility to collect points is also given to flydubai passengers, making it even more popular among UAE travellers.

Given the plethora of services that come with a Business or First Class upgrade, including lounge access and limo services, those who seek a more premium travel experience will remain loyal to Emirates.

Rashid Abbas, Managing Director of Arooha Travels, said, “Skywards Miles skyrocketed in popularity for UAE travellers after flydubai was added to the scheme. In the past year or two, the number of travellers using Emirates has increased dramatically. And all these passengers still need to be given loyalty points.”

T.P. .Sudheesh, General Manager of Deira Travels, said Skywards Miles is quite popular with corporate travellers. “These passengers often convert their points for personal and family travel after collecting points on their business travels,” he added.