KARACHI - National flag carrier PIA, which suffered a record Rs 35.88 billion net loss in year 2008, has just turned the corner at end of 2008 and poised to make profit in 2009. The traffic performance in last quarter of 2008 was quite promising and airline moved closer to break-even point, observed PIA Managing Director Captain Ejaz Haroon at airlines 52nd annual general meeting of shareholders Saturday in Karachi. He said this together with drop in oil prices and recent relative stability of Pak Rupee has had salutary effect and contributed to a significant improvement in financial results for fourth quarter of 2008. PIA introduced two new flights to Stansted via Dubai to provide additional capacity for London, added a new European destination Barcelona, connected southern Punjab with UAE, one additional frequency to Bradford to be added in 2009 summer schedule, Paris & Milan once a week enhanced by upgrading operations to Boeing 777-300. One additional frequency added in 2009 summer schedule to New York, Islamabad & Kathmandu airlinked by once a week direct flight. Capt. Haroon said agency commission in Pakistan was initially reduced from 9% to 5%, now to Zero Percent, successfully met IATA deadline of May 31, 2008 to move to E-ticketing. Now 98% of network shifted to E-ticketing. PIA also implemented Interline E-ticketing with 43 partner airlines. Online web ticketing introduced for major domestic flights and international flights to USA, Canada, UK, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Norway, Denmark. Similar arrangements are underway for other locations. He told shareholders international traffic rose by 0.7% in 2008 over 2007 despite capacity reduction by 5%. Domestic share rose to 50.1% against 49.8% in 2007. A new feature will allow passengers in UK region to carry excess baggage upto 50% discounted rates on prevailing rates. He said Engineering department earned Rs 936 million in year 2008, 30% increase in revenue over last year. Efforts being made to enhance it by providing services to third parties customers. He said efforts being made to replace B-737-300 aircraft, induct additional planes to meet capacity requirement and considering to acquire a full flight simulator for B-777 aircaft. PIAs Haj operation 2008-09 was successfully completed with its own fleet and flights directly operated from Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta to Saudi Arabia. Haroon said 2008 was exceptionally challenging. The extraordinary increase in fuel cost and weaker Pak Rupee severely hurt PIA and it had to book huge losses on its US Dollar loans. Fall in value of Pound Sterling and Euro against U.S. Dollar was source of revenue dilution. High level of inflation in the country also exerted pressure on cost structure, he added.