Air India has been taking various measures, including rationalisation of routes and enhanced utilisation of aircraft as part of the turnaround plan. The airline has been "consistently improving" its overall performance and more than doubled its operating profit to Rs298 crore in the last financial year, according to the government.
The divestment-bound national carrier had an operating profit of Rs 105 crore in 2015-16, while net loss stood at Rs 38.36 billion. However, the net loss of the state-owned airline widened to Rs5,765 crore in 2016-17.
"Air India has been consistently improving its overall financial and operational performance since the implementation of the turnaround plan by the government," Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha today.
The previous UPA government, in 2012, had approved a turnaround plan under which Air India is to receive a total equity infusion worth Rs30,231 crore up to 2021 subject to meeting certain performance thresholds.
Out of the total amount, Rs26,545 crore has already been infused into the airline till now.
Air India had total loans of Rs48,447 crore in 2016-17, which includes aircraft and working capital loans of Rs17359 crore and Rs31087 crore, respectively.
Sinha said the draft expression of interest document inviting proposal for the airline's disinvestment is yet to be finalised by the Air India Specific Alternative Mechanism (AISAM).
"Formal proposals from prospective bidders would be received thereafter only. Any unsolicited expressions of interest at this stage are not relevant," he said.
In June 2016, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) had given its in-principle approval for considering strategic disinvestment of Air India and its five subsidiaries. It also constituted the AISAM, which is headed by finance minister Arun Jaitley.
The panel would decide on hiving off certain assets to a shell company, the entities to be offered for sale during the bidding process, the quantum of disinvestment and the universe of bidders, Sinha said in a separate reply.