Bankruptcy Judge Approves American Airlines Merger

The $11 billion merger of American Airlines and US Airways won bankruptcy court approval Wednesday.

The widely-expected decision by Judge Sean Lane helps clear the way for the two carriers to form the world's biggest airline, with 6,700 daily flights and annual revenue of roughly $40 billion.

The merger still needs approval from antitrust regulators and US Airways shareholders. It is expected to close by the fall.

American Airlines has been in bankruptcy protection since November 2011.

The judge did not approve a $20 million severance package for outgoing American CEO Tom Horton. The judge expressed concern that such a large payment at this point in the restructuring process would violate prohibitions in the bankruptcy law.