How the airlines deal with that liability will influence the amount creditors recover, said Fitch's Warlick. Strategists said they expect Delta and Northwest to follow the path of U.S. Airways and United, which terminated their defined benefit pension plans and handed them over to the PBGC. If the carriers had to shoulder their own pension liabilities, recovery prospects for other creditors would be hurt, they said. First in line to be repaid will likely be lenders who provided debtor-in-possession financing, money obtained to keep a company operating in bankruptcy.
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