LAHORE Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) major profitable route, Saudi Arabia, where the national flag carriers targeted net revenue generation for the year 2011 was Rs 13.718 billion, is expected to nosedive, as its (PIA) share of Saudi passengers is to be diluted by new airlines, which have been allowed to operate on the route, sources in the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said. As per reports, the PIAs had to earn Rs 13.718 billion in net revenue in 2011 after the deduction of its total operating cost of Rs 9.704 billion. The new airlines, which will operate on Saudi Arabian route, are: the National Air Services (NAS), a low-cost airline based in Riyadh, and Shaheen Airlines, a subsidiary of the Shaheen Foundation, a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) welfare project. The NAS also owns the NFS, the ground handling agent for the PIA in Saudi Arabia. The PIA, which had the market share of over 16,000 passengers per month on all ex Pakistan flights, will now have to share this with the Shaheen Airlines. The NAS has been allowed to operate 12 flights from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. Sources in the PIA said that ever since the airlines marketing division had been handed over to inexperienced officers, the national carriers management, in collusion with the CAA and defence minister, signed two controversial deals one with the Turkish Airlines and the other with the NAS. The two deals would prove to be a blow to PIA revenues, added the sources, who wished anonymity. The deals were signed by the controversial marketing director of the PIA. Interestingly, the PIA marketing director, an American national, has been promoted as DMD, which is a strange coincidence since the national flag carriers losses, which were around Rs 42 billion in 2008, have now surpassed Rs170 billion. Daily losses of the PIA are estimated around Rs 50 million. Just like the government gave away the Pakistan Railways goods and cargo revenue business to the National Logistic Cell (NLC), it seems that the PIA has been forced to share its major profitable routes with the Shaheen Airlines by granting it the permission to operate now on Saudi Arabian route in addition to the operation on Gulf route. It may be mentioned here that according to the CAA Policy, a private airlines should operate socio-economic domestic routes and must prove ownership of its fleet before being allowed to operate on international routes. The PIAs market share on ex Pakistan flights to Saudi Arabia will now drop down to 8,000 per month. This will drastically reduce PIAs utilisation of its existing fleet. But, strangely the airlines management wants to induct more aircraft, which does not make any commercial sense. The Shaheen Airlines has a fleet of 12 Boeing-737 with a capacity of 120 seats. The B-737 is not capable of flying direct flights from any station in Pakistan to Jeddah, Madina, Riyadh or Dammam. There is an agreement between the NAS and Shaheen Airlines to provide ground handling and technical handling facilities for flights of their airlines within their own countries. There also exists an agreement to pool their passenger quotas, which basically means that the NAS will be picking up its own share of passengers from stations in Pakistan and can also pick up passengers of the Shaheen Airlines on a code sharing basis. On a long term basis, this will seriously dent PIA's share market for ex Pakistan passengers to Saudi Arabia and will further escalate their losses. When contacted to know her viewpoint on the issue, PIA spokespersons cellphone remained unattended despite repeated calls.