The judge overseeing the US Airways Group Chapter 11 bankruptcy case authorized the airline on Thursday to contribute a total of $14.5 million to two of its pension plans on Oct. 15 and another $14.5 million on Jan. 15. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Stephen S. Mitchell said US Airways, Arlington, Va., could make the scheduled required minimum funding payments to pension plans for the carrier's machinists and flight attendants unions because the payments apply to services rendered by employees after the airline filed for bankruptcy protection Sept. 12. The airline did not make a scheduled $110.5 million payment on Sept. 15; Judge Mitchell said in the order that he will make a decision at a later date about whether the airline must make that payment.
The airline has another hearing slated for Tuesday, but it is not clear whether Judge Mitchell will rule on the Sept. 15 payment at that time. US Airways has pension plans with combined assets of $1.67 billion.
Attorneys representing US Airways and the unions did not return calls seeking comment by press time.