ILFC to Bid on Bankrupt National Airlines

Bloomberg News

Aircraft lessor International Lease Finance Corp. and an unidentified investor are offering to buy National Airlines Inc., the bankrupt carrier said.

National told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Linda B. Riegle in Las Vegas that International Lease Finance disclosed its intention to bid for the airline in a letter received this week. The proposal comes less than a week after billionaire financier Carl Icahn's High River withdrew a $181.5-million offer, which had been rejected by the airline.

Las Vegas-based National sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors in December, in the face of losses blamed on increasing fuel costs. The company, which is 48%-owned by Harrah's Entertainment Corp., flies tourists to Las Vegas from several cities.

Century City-based International Lease Finance is a unit of American International Group Inc.

Riegle ruled that National Airlines can continue to operate until July 31. She will consider whether National can retain the sole right to submit a chapter Chapter 11 recovery plan. If the request is denied, the company's creditors can propose their own plan.

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