Business & Finance

UAL Corp., the parent of United Air Lines, won a temporary restraining order in federal bankruptcy court Saturday that keeps creditors from repossessing 14 jets, the Chicago Tribune reported. The order blocks a group represented by Chapman & Cutter LLP, which United claims is the only one of its creditors that has moved to seize planes while the carrier tries to renegotiate leases. Meanwhile, United submitted suggestions last week for more than $190 million in pay and benefit cuts from its unionized pilots and asked the court to void its union contracts if an extra $725 million in savings can't be secured by mid-January.

US Airways and General Electric reached a comprehensive financing and leasing deal that will give the carrier $140 million in interim liquidity. The arrangement with a pair of subsidiaries, GE Capital Aviation Services and GE Engine Services, covers engine maintenance and an agreement to lease to the carrier 31 new 70- and 90-seat regional jets in exchange for the return of a number of larger aircraft. The deal, which is subject to the approval of federal bankruptcy court before Dec. 17, allows US Airways to put off payments in the short term as it pursues restructuring under Chapter 11 protection.

With an emergency meeting looming next month, executives of Yukos, the beleaguered Russian oil industry giant, have decided against even attempting a survival plan, the Financial Times reported Friday. It said the managers appear ready to propose a single question at the Dec. 20 meeting: Should Yukos declare bankruptcy or liquidate its assets? Analysts noted, however, that a filing for bankruptcy requires court approval, which - judging by past rulings involving the company - is far from guaranteed. Russian authorities, who are demanding more than $13 billion in unpaid taxes, have raided Yukos's headquarters in Moscow more than 500 times in the past 16 months, the Financial Times said.

Merrill Lynch & Co. agreed to buy $2 billion worth of loans from struggling Mitsubishi Motors Corp., the financial news service reported. The announcement capped another eventful week for the Japanese automaker, which also reported a net loss of $892 million for the third quarter and the resignation of its US marketing chief. The company sold only half as many cars in the US last year as in 2002. It will use the proceeds from the sale of its loan portfolio to help pay down debt, said.

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