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United Creditors Support Plan

The company still expects to leave Chapter 11 next month.

United Airlines

is edging closer to finally ending its three-year stay in bankruptcy now that the carrier's creditors have approved its reorganization plan.

United's parent company,


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, said on Friday that it filed a report on the voting results with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois. A hearing to approve the plan is scheduled for Jan. 18.

"We are pleased to have received this support for our plan from our creditors," said Glenn Tilton, United's president and CEO, in a statement. "These results validate our efforts to develop an exit plan that is in the best interests of all our stakeholders and maintains our strong momentum toward emerging from Chapter 11 in February."

Chicago-based United is the nation's second-largest carrier by passenger traffic. UAL filed for bankruptcy in December 2002. The airline had to cut thousands of jobs as part of its massive restructuring.