The $11 billion merger of American Airlines and US Airways won bankruptcy court approval Wednesday.
The widely-expected decision by Judge Sean H. Lane helps clear the way for the two carriers form the world's biggest airline, with 6,700 daily flights and annual revenue of roughly $40 billion.
The merger, first announced on Feb. 14, still needs approval from antitrust regulators and US Airways shareholders. It is expected to close by the fall.
"The merger is an excellent result. I don't think anybody disputes that," Lane said during a court hearing. American has been in bankruptcy protection since November 2011.
Lane decided not to approve a $20 million severance package for outgoing American CEO Tom Horton. He plans to issue a written decision at a later date detailing his reasoning.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.