PIA narrows losses to 5.8bn rupees in 2009

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Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has posted a net loss of 5.8 billion rupees ($69 million) in 2009.

This is a 84% fall from the 36.1 billion rupees loss it reported a year ago, says the state-owned flag carrier.

Net revenue grew 6% to 95 billion rupees from 89 billion rupees in 2008, it adds.

This was due to "better yield management despite deteriorating factors impacting the commercial environment", says Pakistan's defence minister and PIA's chairman Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar.

Passenger revenue, chartered flights and non-transport revenue also grew, he adds.

PIA started services to two new destinations, Barcelona and Frankfurt, during 2009. It also added flights to existing routes like Kuala Lumpur-Islamabad and Islamabad-Kathmandu among others.

The carrier is in talks with the government to receive funding to ease its losses, says Mukhtar.

PIA will introduce new aircraft into its fleet as soon as government funding is arranged. he adds.