updated 1/3/2006 1:54:42 PM ET 2006-01-03T18:54:42

Northwest Airlines says it needs a little more time.

The nation's fourth-largest carrier says it hopes to have a plan to emerge from bankruptcy by the end of the year. The airline faces a January 12th deadline for filing a plan. Without an extension, bankruptcy law allows Northwest's creditors to come up with their own blueprint.

Northwest says its creditors support a six-month extension with the understanding that it will probably need another one.

Trial is set for later this month on Northwest's requests to reject union contracts and impose its own terms on its pilots, flight attendants, and ground workers.

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