UAL denies Dec. 2 as 'drop-dead' date
By Jennifer Waters, CBS.MarketWatch.com
Last Update: 9:38 AM ET Nov. 14, 2002
CHICAGO (CBS.MW) -- UAL Corp. said Thursday that it's continuing to seek alternatives to Chapter 11
bankruptcy as the clock ticks down toward a crucial Dec. 2 debt payment.
The date is significant because the parent of United Airlines (UAL: news,
chart, profile) is scheduled to make a $375 million payment that will eat away a big chunk of the carrier's limited
cash. However, it is not a drop-dead deadline, a UAL spokeswoman said, denying a New York Times report.
The newspaper reported Thursday that Chief Executive Glenn Tilton set Dec. 2 as a D-Day of sorts if he doesn't
have his plan to overhaul the company's financial future in line, as well as some sort of loan guarantee from the
federal Air Transportation Stabilization Board.
That's not quite true, according to spokeswoman Chris Nardelli. It is an important date for us, but it doesn't mean
that if we don't have things taken care of, we will file that night, she said.
We are continuing to work on these issues, Nardelli said.
Specifically, UAL executives held meetings both this week and last with ATSB officials in their ongoing efforts to
reach agreement on what would be a $1.8 billion backup on $2 billion in loans that United says it needs to stay
UAL has received preliminary wage concessions from United's unionized pilots, flight attendants and
meteorologists toward its goal of cutting $5.8 billion in operating costs over a 5 1/2-year period. It still must
hammer out an agreement with the mechanics' union, the company's largest employee group.
Tilton told the Times he believes there is a very good chance of UAL management getting the details in line by
the Dec. 2 date, despite it being earlier than analysts had projected. He also believed that the company would
survive a bankruptcy proceeding if it comes to that, the report said.
After closing Wednesday's trading down 2 cents, UAL shares lost 14 cents to $3.53 in early action.