Bankrupt United Airlines was back at work on a new application for a guaranteed $1.6 billion federal loan after the Air Transportation Stabilization Board (ATSB) rejected its request last Friday but the treasury and transportation departments left the door open to try again. Meanwhile, the carrier won more time with which to work when a bankruptcy court judge granted it until the end of next month to file a reorganization plan without pressure from creditors. In rejecting United's application, the ATSB said business prospects have improved to the point that the carrier may be able to find new financing without government help. But United's chief financial officer argued that lenders so far have indicated that their decisions would be tied to the granting of the $1.6 billion federal guarantee.
The maker of Panasonic products will ask some of its employees to retire early and will shift more manufacturing operations from Japan to China and Malaysia, a spokesman said. But he called a published report that Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. also will cut 3,000 jobs "speculation." The company is based in Osaka.