Emirates Image Credit: Courtesy: Emirates

Dubai: Emirates Airline confirmed on Tuesday it will no longer provide complimentary chauffeur-drive services to customers using air miles on its loyalty programme to upgrade their seats to business or first class.

The Dubai-based carrier said the decision, which is effective March 1, comes after a “careful review of customer take-up and operational considerations.”

“Emirates first and business class classic reward tickets and economy-to-business class upgrade rewards will no longer be eligible for complimentary chauffeur-drive services,” an Emirates spokesperson said via email.

“Chauffeur-drive reservations completed prior to March 1, 2019 will not be impacted. Emirates Skywards members travelling on a redemption ticket will continue to enjoy lounge access, and our generous free baggage allowance based on their class of travel and tier status.”

Emirates Skywards, the loyalty programme, is also used by flydubai, which adopted the programme for its own customers in late 2018, as the two carriers strengthen their partnership.

Emirates’ chauffeur-drive service to and from airports is offered to business and first class passengers in various cities around the world. The carrier’s terms and conditions listed on its website state that the service is only available if the booking is ticketed and is not available to passengers who are waitlisted for a flight.

In mid-November, Emirates Airline reported an 86 per cent decline in its net profit for the six months from April to September 2018, which reached Dh226 million. The plunge was due to higher oil prices and currency fluctuations, with the carrier warning of a “tough” year ahead.