Michael Conroy  /  AP file
ATA was founded in 1973, flying charter trips to leisure destinations.
updated 1/30/2006 3:27:57 PM ET 2006-01-30T20:27:57

A federal judge on Monday cleared the way for ATA Airlines and its parent company ATA Holdings Corp., to emerge from bankruptcy after more than 14 months of federal financial protection.

“I feel great, I feel wonderful,” said attorney James Carr, who represented ATA in federal bankruptcy court.

The Indianapolis-based carrier is expected on Tuesday to announce the date it will emerge after paperwork is filed, Carr said.

Officials at the carrier have said they hope to end bankruptcy protection in late February.

Judge Basil H. Lorch III said he thinks the carrier will be in a good financial position this spring.

“I don’t see any indication we won’t be dealing with a solvent entity in April,” he said during Monday’s three-hour court hearing.

ATA was founded in 1973, flying charter trips to leisure destinations. After becoming a passenger carrier in the 1980s, the airline grew to be the nation’s 10th largest carrier before filing for bankruptcy in October 2004.

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