U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane is expected to issue a decision on the American Airlines bankruptcy at a hearing at 10 a.m. Wednesday in New York.
The agenda for the hearing includes a ruling whether the Nov. 12 settlement of the antitrust challenge by the U.S. Department of Justice changes American’s reorganization plan that Lane approved in September.
Lane is expected to make a bench ruling at the hearing, and follow it up later with a written opinion.
A decision in American’s favor would remove the final legal obstacle to the airline’s exit from Chapter 11 bankruptcy after almost two years and clear the way for its merger with US Airways Group.
The airline said the merger would occur soon after Dec. 9, when it would official exit bankruptcy.
The restructuring proposal has received the approval of creditors, shareholders, and the unions representing the airline’s pilots, flight attendants and mechanics.
The $11 billion merger is the centerpiece of American’s reorganization plan that protects unsecured creditors, who can recoup their full investment. Equity holders will receive some payout depending on the trading value of the new company, American Airlines Group.
The reorganization plan and the settlement were supported by holders of American Airline’s $3.3 billion of municipal bonds.
About $1.5 billion of the airline’s tax-exempt revenue bonds are unsecured claims, backed by the bankrupt airline’s repayment pledge.