updated 1/23/2005 4:33:34 PM ET 2005-01-23T21:33:34

United Airlines’ chief executive expects the company to emerge from bankruptcy this fall, according to a published report.

United CEO Glenn Tilton told the Chicago Tribune for a story in Sunday editions that the carrier will be able to focus solely on providing better value to customers after leaving bankruptcy in the autumn.

“Our employees will be able to turn all their attention to the consumer, to the customer, to competition,” Tilton said of United’s post-bankruptcy phase. “We will have both the financial resources and the time and energy to dedicate our attention to them completely.”

The report did not quote Tilton as saying precisely when he thinks the nation’s second-largest airline would exit bankruptcy.

On Friday, a judge gave the company an additional three months to file its reorganization plan. The current extension was due to expire Jan. 31.

United, a unit of Elk Grove Village-based UAL Corp., has cut $5 billion from its annual costs since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2002. The company is currently reworking its labor contracts to excise another $725 million in costs.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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