GM To Terminate Corporate Aircraft Leases

NEW YORK (AP) -- A bankruptcy judge ruled Thursday that General Motors Corp. can terminate its aircraft leases as part of its ongoing restructuring.

U.S. Judge Robert Gerber approved GM's motion at a brief hearing -- the automaker's first since its initial court appearance on the day it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

Robert Weiss, an attorney for GM, said the automaker currently leases seven aircraft, as well as hangar space at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. There were no objections to the motion.

The Detroit-based automaker was hit with a firestorm of negative publicity last year after it used a corporate jet to fly former CEO Rick Wagoner to Washington to ask Congress for billions of dollars in aid.

GM filed for bankruptcy protection on June 1. It plans to sell the bulk of its assets to a new company that the U.S. government would hold a controlling stake in. A hearing on the proposed sale is scheduled for June 30.

Fellow U.S. automaker Chrysler also was in court Thursday for its first hearing since the closing of the sale of most of its assets to a group led by Italy's Fiat Group SpA.

Chrysler Group LLC emerged from Chapter 11 as a new company last week, but the remaining assets of the old company still remain under court oversight.

At Thursday's hearing, U.S. Judge Arthur Gonzalez approved procedures for the sale of the old company's minor assets.

More in Supply Chain