Time Running Out For United?


The clock is ticking for United Air Lines and its new CEO is trying desperately to keep it wound. Glenn Tilton is spending all his time these days trying to convince the federal government to loan the airline $2 billion and guarantee $1.8 billion of that. If the Airline Transportation Stabilization Board (ATSB) doesn’t approve the loan, the biggest in its history, United could be headed for bankruptcy as early as Dec. 2. That’s the day a $375 million debt comes due. Since becoming CEO of the U.S.’s second-largest airline in September, Tilton has managed to wrangle $6 billion in concessions (according to The Washington Post) from workers, suppliers and vendors. He’s also managed to forge an (forgive us) united front between its fractious unions, which own 55 percent of the airline. All that’s left is to convince the ASTB to approve the loan. With some prodding by a letter campaign mounted by 30,000 United employees, the ATSB revealed last week that it considers the United application deficient in six ways. We wonder if walking on water was on the list.