LAHORE - PIA Managing Director Capt Ijaz Haroon has claimed that the airline has earned Rs 2 billion operating profit during the first quarter of the year 2009 while revenue increased by 19 per cent due to the positive policies of the present management. He expressed these views while speaking at the Meet the Press programme held here on Thursday under the auspices of Lahore Press Club (LPC). President LPC, Sarmad Bashir and Secretary General, Zahid Abid were also present on this occasion. The PIA MD said that profit was earned after a gap of six years and it is worth mentioning here that the world aviation industry had to face 12pc decline in revenues during this period. He said that during first quarter of the year 2008, PIA had to face operating loss of Rs 1.9 billion while during the first quarter of 2009, revenue growth was 19 per cent compared with the same period of 2008. He said that to pull the airline out of crisis, management is mulling to purchase new and fuel-efficient aircrafts to upgrade the airline fleet. He said that to decrease the financial burden, the management is taking measures to cut cost of various heads and slash would be applied in store purchase and flight kitchen. To a question, he said that national flag-carrier has given nothing to pilots but they have been asked to work more to get more pay as organisation is not in strong financial position to pay them according to their demands. Haroon said, I took over the charge on May 7, 2008 and at that time the airline was facing about Rs 40 million loss on daily basis. The PIA administration hoped to recover the losses and attain a break-even stage by the end of the year 2009, he said. "To achieve the target of increased revenue, the management minimised expenses and contractual employees had been regularised to boost their moral." He said, "I expelled the people being paid heavily on contract basis, long standing issue of the pensioners by increasing their pension at least up to Rs 2000 from a very nominal of Rs 250. We first time conducted Hajj operation with our own planes and it was successful operation, he added. To a question about the Hajj fare, he said that now PIA has informed Religious Ministry that Hajj fare would be fixed in future in accordance with the fuel prices. To another question that what policy has PIA possess about Kashmir, he said that airline has no policy in the near future to start operation for Kashmir.