CHICAGO – A judge on Friday granted United Airlines' (search) request to extend until Nov. 1 the company's exclusive right to file a reorganization plan to get out bankruptcy.
But Judge Eugene Wedoff warned United that it would be the last such extension he will grant "in the absence of compelling and unforeseeable circumstances."
United parent UAL Corp. (search) has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy for nearly three years and says it will file a reorganization plan early next month.
UAL said Thursday it had secured new commitments from banks for up to $3 billion in debt financing that should enable it to emerge from bankruptcy by late this year or early next year.
The financing is not yet final but UAL hailed the revised proposals from its main lenders as a strong endorsement of the new business plan it formulated this summer even as the steep increase in fuel prices continues to squeeze carriers' bottom lines.
The commitments from the four financiers — Citibank (C), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Deutsche Bank and GE Commercial Finance (search) — were disclosed by the Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based airline in a bankruptcy court filing.
United has not yet publicly disclosed its new business plan or laid out its strategy for returning to profitability for the first time since 2000.