United Airlines Undaunted

Vows to 'Emerge as a strong competitor'

United is looking for a way to emerge from Chapter 11 without a federal loan guarantee. The Air Transportation Stabilization Board (ATSB) June 28 again rejected United’s request for a guarantee, and it said the airline won’t get any more chances.

United issued a statement in which it said it is confident it can emerge from Chapter 11 without the guarantee, and already is talking to lenders about the terms for additional financing.

“While we disagree with [the board’s] decision, we are gratified by the ATSB’s public recognition of our progress and are already moving forward to secure the exit financing we need to take United out of bankruptcy,” the airline said. “The message from the ATSB is that we can get the exit financing we need on our own.

“We will continue to take the actions necessary to further reduce costs and improve revenue while remaining firmly focused on providing a superior travel experience to all of our customers.”

Prior to the ATSB rejection, United had increased its dialogue with agents. In a June 22 conference call, airline executives sought to assure them the airline’s future is secure no matter what happens in its effort to obtain a federal loan guarantee.

“We will emerge as a strong competitor for the long term,” said Dan Walsh, United’s executive vice president of North America sales.