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Pakistan International Airlines is suspending its flights between Karachi and Mumbai from Monday due to "extremely low" traffic volume on the route, a senior official of the Pakistani national carrier has said. PIA used to operate two flights a week, Monday and Thursday, between the commercial cities of Karachi and Mumbai.
"There will be no PIA flight between Karachi to Mumbai and Mumbai to Karachi from April 8. The PIA has stopped booking for flights on this route," said a PIA official.
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"Since we have been bearing financial loss on this route for the last six months or so we have arrived at a decision to suspend this route," the official said, adding that unless a special subsidy is not given by the government on this route, it may not be restored in the near future.
The PIA dismissed media reports that the Karachi-Mumbai operation is being suspended due to tense relations between India and Pakistan.
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"The reasons behind the move are purely commercial," PIA spokesperson Danyal Gillani said.
However, the PIA's Lahore-Delhi flight operation will continue as traffic volume on this route is satisfactory, the PIA official said. The suspension of Karachi-Mumbai route may add traffic to Lahore-Delhi route, he added.
PIA was a profit making entity and earned more than two billion Pakistani rupees in 2004. But since the Nawaz Sharif government took over, Pakistan's state carrier has suffered more than 100 billion in losses, according to officials.