Kingfisher Airlines chief Vijay Mallya today said the company was negotiating with banks to reduce the high interest rates on its Rs 6,000 crore debt but maintained the air carrier was not suffering from a "huge" debt burden.
"We are flying. But we have to repay our debt. I can tell you we are not suffering from a huge debt burden. We have nine years to repay this debt," the Kingfisher chief said on the sidelines of a CII function on civil aviation here.
However, he said the interest costs were "getting higher and obviously we are trying to reduce these costs".
Kingfisher officials have said they were trying to bring down the debt substantially in a short-term and negotiations were currently on with bankers in this regard. As per latest figures, the airline has a debt burden of Rs 6,007.30 crore.
Over 23% of Kingfisher stake is now owned by a consortium of 13 banks, including SBI, ICICI Bank, IDBI Bank, Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank.
At the Group's annual general meeting last month, Mallya had told shareholders that Kingfisher had implemented a debt-recast package in the last financial year, following which loans from bankers in excess of Rs 1,300 crore and funds from promoters of approximately Rs 745 crore were converted into share capital.
Further, the interest rate on the recast loans was lowered to 11% and the period of repayment was extended to nine years.
On oil companies stopping jet fuel supplies due to non-payment of dues, he said, "We are in compliance with the agreed payment arrangements with them."