KARACHI - Pakistan International Airlines is running half-empty flights to India as the neighbouring country has tightened visa policy, causing millions of rupees loss to the national flag-carrier ever week, the sources concerned told TheNation. The state-run airline is currently operating six flights a week to India with only 45-52 per cent utilisation of capacity as India has slashed the issuance of visas to the visitors after Mumbai attacks, the sources said. Before Mumbai incidents, PIA flights to India were operating with over 70pc capacity, the sources added. It is said that the top PIA officials have requested the Defence Ministry to reduce the number of flights to avert increasing financial losses. But the Ministry, under pressure from the federal govt high ups, has asked PIA to continue with the current schedule of flights on the plea that cut in flights would further damage Pakistans ties with India. They pointed out that after Mumbai attacks, on the one hand, the Indian govt has tightened visa rules while on the other, the number of visitors has dropped sharply because of tension between the two countries. Air India, that was operating two flights to Pakistan every week, had already suspended its flights, but the federal government officials were not willing to reduce the number of PIA flights, fearing that doing so could annoy the Indian government, claimed the sources. Despite immense financial crisis in the airline, PIA continues to operate on its routes to India, although after Mumbai attacks, Air India had stopped all its operations to Pakistan. Before the Mumbai attacks, PIA was operating 10 flights a week to India. There were three weekly flights for Delhi from Karachi, on Karachi-Mumbai route PIA was operating PK275, four times a week. The Airline undertakes three flights- PK 271-from Lahore to Delhi. However, after the 26/11 attacks, PIA is operating six flights a week to Mumbai and New Delhi. The national airline is now operating two flights on each of these routes, making a total of 6 flights in a week, said an official from PIA. Due to strict visa policy adapted by the Indian government after the Mumbai attacks, the load factor on these flights has been hit significantly. The 4 flights on Karachi-Mumbai route that had recorded 74 per cent load factor before November 2008, were now experiencing only 47 per cent seats utilisation. Similarly, on Karachi to Delhi route that was attracting 72 per cent seats utilisation, was now attracting only 53 per cent load factor. Lahore to Delhi flights which carried the load factor of 57 per cent has decreased to 42 per cent now, he maintained. The reduction in our flights occurred when the Airline considered its losses at these routes. From the shown statistics, it is clear that almost all the flights have suffered due to strict visa policy by the Indian government. The financial condition of PIA is not satisfactory, even though we have generated profit on our operations, yet more is needed to pull the airline out of crisis, he maintained. The Air India has no issues to operate in Pakistan as it had 2 flights for Karachi and 2 for Lahore before the attacks; now it has been barred by their government to operate in Pakistan, said another source in PIA. The Pakistan government has not taken any stern position on this issue, our government wants to keep the diplomatic doors open and we feel that by cutting our flights for India, the situation will become bleak between the countries, he added.