A federal bankruptcy judge accepted US Airways' plan to emerge from bankruptcy protection by March 31 and gave the airline the go-ahead to ask its creditors to approve the proposal.
The decision clears another hurdle for the carrier, which was the first to declare Chapter 11 after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The company lost $2.1 billion in 2001 and $852 million in the first three quarters of 2002; it has laid off about 30% of its pre-attack workforce of 46,000.
The nation's seventh-largest airline has said it needs to cut costs by $1.6 billion to remain viable. The plan hinges on US Airways securing a $1- billion federal loan guarantee, a $240-million investment from the Alabama state pension fund and concessions by employees.