Eastar Jet (ZE, Seoul Gimpo) plans to take Jeju Air (7C, Jeju) to court in an effort to hold the carrier responsible for the collapse of their merger agreement, founder and Democratic Party member Lee Sang-jik has said.

Earlier this month, Jeju Air called off plans to acquire a 51.17% stake in Eastar Jet claiming Easter had failed to meet all pre-conditions ahead of a July 15 deadline. Among the requirements was the settlement of all debts, including outstanding staff salaries, said to stand at KRW170 billion (USD142 million).

"We will take legal action against Jeju Air. We hope the truth will come out in court," Lee told the Daum news agency without expanding on the premise of the case.

Eastar Jet, which suspended all flights in April, saw its Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) suspended in June owing to a lack of activity exceeding two months. As it stands, it must now scramble to put together a rescue plan to avoid having its Operator's Licence (OL), which depends on it having adequate finances, being revoked.

However, industry sources told Yonhap that Eastar Jet's options now include filing for court receivership and searching for new investors in addition to asking for help from the provincial government.

"What is important for now is reviving the company and finding good investors," Lee said during a meeting with reporters at the North Jeolla Provincial Assembly. "Although I have not participated in managing the company, I will do what I can as its founder and recommend to the management of the company the optimal ways it could be saved."