United Airlines, which has been under bankruptcy protection since 2002, won a temporary order on Friday stopping a group of creditors from repossessing 14 planes.
The federal judge overseeing United’s bankruptcy case, Eugene R. Wedoff, ruled in favor of United after it argued on Friday that the creditors were breaking antitrust laws by negotiating as a group, the airline’s chief financial officer, Frederic F. Brace III, said after a three-hour emergency hearing.
The creditors sought to repossess planes including Boeing 767’s and 737’s, according to a document sent to the creditors committee and lawyers for United’s parent, the UAL Corporation. Judge Wedoff will review the issue at a Dec. 15 hearing.
“We obviously are pleased with the judge’s ruling against this undue, unfair pressure,” Mr. Brace said.
Jim Spiotto, a lawyer who represents the creditors, declined to comment.
United has been working with the creditors for almost two years to reach new lease agreements that may help the company lower costs. The group controls about 160 additional United planes, about one-third of the fleet. An agreement between the creditors and United was dropped after a government board rejected a loan guarantee request and the company determined it would need to further cut costs.
Jean Medina, a spokeswoman for United, said before the hearing, “We believe the financial issues involved can be addressed through constructive negotiation.”