CHICAGO – A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge said Monday he expects to rule by Wednesday on American Airlines’ request for final clearance to merge with US Airways Group Inc. and exit Chapter 11, after the airlines settled a federal antitrust challenge.

Holders of American’s $3.3 billion of municipal bonds favor the plan because it makes them whole. Prices on American’s unsecured bonds, once in the 20 cents on the dollar range, are now trading at full value to a premium.

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