Northwest Airlines has said it will exit Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the end of this month, the latest US carrier to put its books in order.
Some of the biggest US airlines are emerging from their problems
A Federal judge approved Northwest's plan that will see the company issue new shares to help pay off creditors.
Northwest Airlines went into Chapter 11 protection in September 2005, allowing it to keep operating but giving it time to negotiate with debtors over payment.
Since then it has cut costs by $2.5bn and renegotiated labour contracts.
US airlines came under pressure as passenger numbers declined following the 11 September attacks, and as oil prices surged, boosting fuel cost. They also had to rethink their business as low-cost rivals entered the market.
Other firms to have emerged from protection are Delta Airlines and UAL Corp's United Airlines.
"Today's court approval is the realization of the goals that we set for the airline when we entered bankruptcy protection," said Northwest chief executive Doug Steenland.
Northwest said it would be worth roughly $7bn after it emerged from bankruptcy protection,
"They're going to be in a very strong position," said airline consultant Mike Boyd.
"They have a strong vision of what they want to do. If you're going to bet on an airline, I'd bet on them."