Gwadar has become a major strategic point for Pakistan after China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Companies are interested to invest in Pakistan and airlines are ready to start their operations in Gwadar. Recently Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has announced direct flights from Islamabad to Gwadar. It seems that PIA wants to increase its air traffic and compensate its losses.

PIA incurred almost Rs 319.1 billion losses until March 2017 ended. Now PIA wants to change its strategy by adding profitable routes and removing unprofitable destinations from its schedule.

PIA Chief Executive Officer Musharraf Rasool Cyan said, “We would connect Islamabad and Gwadar by the end of this year. Being the national carrier, we feel the responsibility for improving connectivity through Pakistan.”

Development in Gwadar is the major CPEC project. Gwadar port will connect China to the Arabian Sea. As Gwadar has huge importance both for China and Pakistan, PIA is ready to cash on it and start direct flights to Gwadar.

Recently PIA suspended flights to New York because of which the airline lost Rs1.5 billion per year.

Read more: PIA under fire for closing strategic routes

Moreover, as new Islamabad airport is also establishing soon, thus it will be advantageous for the airline as well.

Cyan added, “We want to make Islamabad airport a hub. If we find it appropriate, we would improve connectivity with other airlines.”

PIA chief executive further said, “It has been observed that airports and airlines are grown side by side … PIA would remain the key airline for Islamabad, which would remain only a terminal destination for foreign airlines.”

PIA is currently buildings its offices at the new airport, the credit line has been extended from commercial banks. It will be used to meet the increasing demands and requirements.

PIA also plans to extend its routes to DG Khan and Lahore from Islamabad in 2018. Also, it will increase the frequency of its flights to different cities including Multan, Zhob, and Turbat.