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Delta Air Lines Exits Bankruptcy

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Delta Air Lines on Monday emerged from bankruptcy after a 19 month restructuring that resulted in USD$3 billion in annual financial improvements, the third-largest US airline said.

Delta will take a USD$2.5 billion exit-financing facility to repay the company's USD$2.1 billion debtor-in-possession credit facilities and make other payments required upon exit from bankruptcy, Delta said in a statement.

A US bankruptcy court had on April 25 given the airline the go-ahead to exit bankruptcy at the end of this month.

"Through our restructuring we have successfully repaired our balance sheet, improved the customer experience, expanded our international route system and built a platform for future success," Chief Executive Gerald Grinstein said in the statement.

Delta's restructuring is projected to more than halve its net debt to USD$7.6 billion at the end of 2007 from USD$16.9 billion at June 30, 2005, it said.

The company will issue new common shares in payment of bankruptcy claims and as part of a post-emergence compensation program for Delta employees, the airline said.

Regular trading in the new stock is expected to begin on the New York Stock Exchange on May 3 under the symbol "DAL".

(Reuters)