LAHORE - PIA losses have increased by 284 per cent during last nine months as compared to the same period of the year 2007. Board Of Directors meeting recently declared a loss of Rs 38.4 billion in the last 9 months from January to September 2008. In the last Board meeting, the airline had declared a loss of Rs 17.9 billion for 6 months period from January to June 2008. This shows an increase in loss of 284 per cent as compared to the Rs 10 billion loss in the preceding 9 months of 2007, sources in the national flag carrier confided to The Nation on Friday. Managing Director PIA, Capt. Ijaz Haroon when contacted while justifying the losses said that no doubt the losses have touched to Rs 38b but change in foreign exchange caused increase of Rs 22.7b while fuel prices caused loss of Rs 7 billion. He said that during his supervision the airline has increased revenue and certain other improvements have also been made. On the other hand some aviation experts are of the view that the Pakistani rupee has registered a net depreciation of 31.25 per cent from its value of Rs 64 to a US Dollar in 2007 to Rs 84 to a dollar in recent days. In the same period the average price of fuel in 2007 was US$64 per barrel to US$ 92 per barrel, in 2008 which is an average increase of 43.75 per cent in fuel cost. The airline has been paying regular instalments for its fleet of Boeing 777 and ATR in 2007, which it paid when the 9 month loss in 2007 was declared at Rs 10b. Airline analysts are perturbed by Rs 20.5b (US$250m) loss declared in the three month period from July to Sept 2008, when during this quarter PIA also received US$5.1m for two Boeing 747s that it sold. Aviation experts rule out the possibility that Rs 6.8b monthly loss for July to Sept 2008 can be attributed to 31.25pc Pak rupee devaluation or the fuel price which has registered a net decline from August onwards to its present value of under US$50 per barrel.