Bankruptcy judge allows American Airlines to buy 200 planes

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NEW YORK (AP) — A bankruptcy judge said Thursday that the parent of American Airlines can go ahead with its previously scheduled deliveries of Boeing aircraft next year.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Sean Lane ruled that AMR Corp. can continue the process of purchasing 32 Boeing planes. The ruling allows the company to continue renewing its fleet following its filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Nov. 29.

AMR has stressed the importance of the aircraft purchases, saying they will improve American’s competitiveness and help lower its massive fuel bill as it replaces older gas guzzlers. American has the second-oldest fleet among major airlines behind Continental, according to aviation consulting firm Ascend. Its planes are 15 years old, on average.

American also won court approval for getting out of leases for two dozen aging aircraft. None of the planes are currently in service. AMR said it no longer makes financial sense to keep them.