A U.S. Federal Appeals Court has cleared the way on Monday for the sale of Trans World Airline's assets for $742 million to American Airlines' parent company, AMR, denying a last minute bid by a 102 Israeli TWA employees and pensioners to stop the transaction. The TWA Israeli staffers claim the bankrupt airline owes them at least $13m in severance pay and pension benefits.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia had issued a temporary stay over the weekend in response to a petition from the Jewish Labor Federation, which was representing the airline's Israeli staffers.

American Airlines spokesman John Hotard said the ruling means that the sale of TWA should be completed by Monday afternoon.

The labor federation had been hoping that the appeals court would send the case back to federal bankruptcy court for further consideration. But U.S. Circuit Judge Samuel Alito lifted the stay Monday without giving a reason in his written decision.

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