ATLANTA — A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge has approved Delta Air Lines Inc.'s deal worth up to $21 million to buy from UAL Corp.'s United Airlines the authority to provide nonstop service from New York to London.
The judge's approval was dated Tuesday and entered Wednesday.
The deal, which is also subject to U.S. Department of Transportation approval, calls for Delta to pay United $13 million at closing and $2 million a year for four years, according to Delta. The airline says the subsequent payments will cease if an open skies agreement allowing greater access to destinations in other countries is reached.
Atlanta-based Delta has been trying for a decade to get authority to operate flights to London from John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Delta, which filed for bankruptcy protection in New York last September, has said it plans its first daily round-trip flight between JFK and London's Gatwick Airport later this year with a second flight beginning in spring 2007.
The airline, which operates a hub at Salt Lake City International Airport, also wants to serve London's Heathrow Airport. It has said it supports an open skies agreement between the United States and Europe that would allow it to do that.
Also Tuesday, a bankruptcy judge approved the creation of a committee that will assist in reviewing fee payment requests from Delta's bankruptcy lawyers, consultants and advisers.