New Delhi/Mumbai–The pilots’ union of grounded Jet Airways on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court to direct the consortium of lenders for release of funds to restart operations.

In its petition, the National Aviators’ Guild (NAG) asked the Supreme Court to direct the airlines’ lenders to release the promised amount to restart operations as it impacts 22,000 direct and indirect employees.

According to the petition reviewed by IANS, the union said the consortium has failed to meet its obligation of providing Rs 1,500 crore worth of funds to the airline under its turnaround plan.

Besides, the petition also asks the Supreme Court to stop the Central government from allotting Jet’s time slots at the airport on a permanent basis and to prevent allocation of seats under the bilateral agreement on international sector ro other airlines.

Last month, temporary suspension of Jet’s operations created a capacity crunch in the domestic sector. Consequently, 280 slots in Mumbai and over 160 in Delhi were left vacant.

These slots are being re-allocated by a committee comprising airport operators, the Airports Authority of India and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, with preference being given to those airlines which bring in extra planes.

At present, the fate of the airline — formed on May 5, 1993 — hangs in the balance, as domestic lenders have called for binding bids from potential investors by May 10 to sell a sizeable stake in the company.

In April, Jet was forced to announce a temporary suspension of all flight services as it was unable to maintain even bare minimum operations.

Prior to temporarily suspending all flight services, Jet had already folded up most of its operations due to grounding of around 90 per cent of its fleet by lessors, as its consortium of lenders refused to extend loans to the airline. (IANS)