UAL

(UAL) - Get United Airlines Holdings, Inc. Report

, parent company of United Airlines, elected Glenn F. Tilton chief executive, chairman and president, replacing John W. Creighton, who is retiring.

The nation's No. 2 carrier said in August that unless it can improve its financial situation significantly in the near term, that it would be forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the fall. The Chicago-based airline been plagued by huge debts, an industrywide slump in demand, lower fares and revenue, and overall weakness in the economy in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11.

"Our highest priorities must be to restore employee trust and revive investor and customer confidence," Tilton said. "That means working cooperatively with all of United's stakeholders on a plan to address near-term financial issues and develop a much-needed, long-term strategy for the company's renewed growth."

Tilton was the chairman and CEO at

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UAL's shares were down 2.4% to $2.80 in premarket trading on Instinet.