Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plans to start a direct flight between Hong Kong and Pakistan. The exact date will be announced after technical formalities have been sorted out, says PIA's manager for Hong Kong and Macau, Ali Tahir Qasim. 'We are now actively working to start the operations from Hong Kong,' Mr Ali said. Previously, PIA did not con sider this option feasible for the former Kai Tak airport because of the high landing and take-off fees, heavy traffic, night-flying restrictions and difficulties in obtaining flying rights to Hong Kong. However, the opening of Hong Kong International Airport eased these restrictions. The Government's move to relax traffic rights and the Airport Authority's decision to reduce landing and parking fees persuaded PIA to reconsider. The airline had experienced sizeable revenue growth in the last six months which revived the issue, Mr Ali said. Through agreements with other International Air Transport Association (IATA) carriers, PIA currently flies passengers from Hong Kong to Bangkok for connection with its own flights to Pakistan and destinations in the United States, Europe and the Middle East. Many of the Pakistani community in the SAR use the airline's services regularly. Apart from PIA, airlines such as Gulf Emirates, Singapore International Airlines and Air Lanka also serve Pakistan. However, PIA provides the most convenient and direct route to Islamabad. Mr Ali said PIA had recorded a substantial growth in revenue and traffic pattern from one-way trips to round-trips after adjustments were made to the old price structure. Demand for one-way tickets was previously greater than that for a round-trip because passengers found that flying on one-way tickets from Hong Kong to Islamabad and back was about $400 cheaper than a round-trip. Now the price of a round-trip ticket has been made more economical. Between last July and February this year, PIA recorded a 51 per cent increase in revenue and traffic. It is also developing its services between Bangkok and Singapore, and plans to extend its services in China.