UAL's ( UALAQ) United Airlines has obtained $3 billion of financing to fuel its planned February exit from bankruptcy protection.

The nation's No. 2 airline announced the all-debt package Thursday. Arranged by JP Morgan and Citigroup, the debt will have a term of six years and an interest rate that floats 4.5 percentage points above the London interbank offered rate, also known as Libor.

United says it will use the funds to repay bankruptcy financing and to ensure that it leaves Chapter 11 with a strong cash balance.

The carrier filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 2002 after struggling during the travel downtown that followed the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It has used the bankruptcy process to slash wages and benefits, return unwanted planes and dump billions of dollars in pension liabilities on the federal pension insurer.

The moves have given United a more competitive cost structure, but the carrier is planning its emergence as the U.S. airline industry remains mired in a crisis caused by high oil prices, fierce price competition, and an overabundance of carriers and seats.

Although crude oil prices have moderated in recent days, a barrel still costs more than $60. Meanwhile, the cost of jet fuel relative to crude has skyrocketed recently because of shortages and refinery outages in the wake of recent Gulf Coast hurricanes. Nevertheless, United's reorganization plan assumes average crude oil prices of just $50 a barrel over the next five years.

UAL shares, which the airline plans to cancel when it exits bankruptcy, were recent trading at 54 cents.

As United has plotted its post-bankruptcy course, two other large U.S. carriers -- Delta Air Lines ( DAL) and Northwest Airlines ( NWACQ) -- have sought Chapter 11 protection.

On Thursday, Delta said the court overseeing its bankruptcy has given temporary approval to the airline's $2.05 billion bankruptcy financing plan. Delta shares traded up 5 cents at 84 cents.