AMR's (NYSE:AMR) American Airlines has been approved by a bankruptcy court judge to buy Boeing (NYSE:BA) planes, the carrier said on Friday.

The airline was cleared to buy 32 Boeing planes that it had been scheduled to receive through the end of next year. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane confirmed the carrier’s ability to buy and finance the planes, according to Reuters.

AMR and its subsidiary carriers filed for Chapter 11 in late November after suffocating under ancient fleet and labor contracts as well as crippling fuel costs. The new planes are expected to be much more efficient, thus cutting down on some of those expenses.

American Airlines said on Friday that it grew its global network throughout 2011 by adding more than 30 new destinations through strategic relations with airlines around the globe.

The company earlier this year signed a deal with Japan Airlines, strengthening its presence in Asia. It also has joint business deals with British Airways, Iberia Airlines and Qantas, though analysts are mixed on the success of all those partnerships.

"By strengthening and broadening our presence worldwide, American and oneworld are better positioned than ever to deliver enhanced benefits to our customers," said Kenji Hashimoto, American's vice president of Strategic Alliances.

The carrier said it plans to continue strengthening its alliances in 2012 to deliver “premier alliance network worldwide.”

To better manage costs, the company relocated capacity in 2011 to major hubs such as Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York and Los Angeles. The five cities serve as its cornerstones in the U.S. network and allow it to better align with its international partners.

Major U.S. airlines, including American, Delta (NYSE:DAL) and UnitedContinental (NYSE:UAL) have been forced to lower capacity this winter season, which has left many holiday travelers with expensive fares and packed planes.

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