India's government wants to use the divestment of Air India (AI, Mumbai Int'l) to push other reforms in the domestic aviation sector, according to The Hindu Business Line newspaper.

“The government has done a lot to involve the private sector in the domestic airport sector. This experiment has helped provide funds which have been used for the development of other airports,” an unnamed source told the daily when asked about the upcoming attempt to privatise the flag carrier.

Funds generated from the sale - and money that would otherwise have been pumped into the loss-making airline in the future - will be used to develop aviation and other parts of the economy that are priority areas for the government, the source said.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri, told the lower house of India's bicameral parliament on June 27, 2019, that the government had injected INR57.8 billion rupees (USD812 million) into Air India during the 2014-15 financial year, INR33 billion (USD464 million) in 2015-16, INR24.65 billion (USD346 million) in 2016-17, INR18 billion (USD253 million) in 2017-18, and INR39.75 billion (USD559 million) in 2018-19.

The carrier reported a loss in all five years, varying from INR58.6 billion (USD823 million) in 2014-15 to INR76.4 billion (USD1.07 billion) in 2018-19, according to the newspaper.