United Flying Out of Bankruptcy

United Airlines finally leaves bankruptcy today, a leaner and more cost-efficient carrier after a painful restructuring that began in 2002 and lasted a record 1,150 days.


April 21, 2003 - United starts charging for meals on flights.

May 1, 2003 - New labor contracts go into effect reducing labor costs by $2.56 billion annually for six years.

Feb. 12, 2004 - United launches its new Denver-based discount carrier, Ted.

June 28, 2004 - United loses third and final try for a government loan guarantee, forcing it to seek new financing.

Aug. 19, 2004 - United says in a bankruptcy filing that it likely will terminate and replace its employee pension plans.

Oct. 6, 2004 - United cuts domestic flight capacity by 12 percent and increases international capacity 14 percent amid intensifying discount-carrier competition in U.S. and more lucrative routes internationally.

Nov. 4, 2004 - CEO Glenn Tilton says record-high fuel costs mean United has no choice but to eliminate pensions and cut wages further to gain an additional $2 billion in reductions.

May 10, 2005 - Bankruptcy Judge Eugene Wedoff approves United's plan to terminate employee pensions, clearing the way for the largest corporate-pension default in American history.

July 21, 2005 - United completes second round of negotiated labor cuts in bankruptcy, adding another $700 million in annual labor savings.

Sept. 7, 2005 - United files reorganization plan outlining its intentions for repaying its debts and wiping out its stock. Forecasts nearly $1 billion operating profit in 2006 but based on oil prices falling to $50 a barrel.

Oct. 6, 2005 - United signs off on a $3 billion loan from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. enabling it to exit bankruptcy.

Dec. 30, 2005 - United announces majority of creditors have voted for its reorganization plan.

Jan. 20, 2006 - Reorganization plan approved by bankruptcy court.

Feb. 1, 2006 - United emerging from bankruptcy after three years, 51 days.


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