U.S. judge OKs GM petition to cancel jet leases

NEW YORK Thu Jun 18, 2009 1:30pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. bankruptcy court on Thursday granted a motion by automaker General Motors Corp GMGMQ.PK to cancel its aircraft leases on seven corporate jets.

The planes are leased from a division of General Electric (GE.N) and include five mid-range Gulfstream G350 business jets and two ultra-long Gulfstream GV jets, according to court documents.

The heads of Detroit's three automakers -- including General Motors -- came under fire last fall for flying in private aircraft to Washington to petition the U.S. government for billions of dollars in bailout money.

As a condition of receiving government loans, the executives later agreed to cease using their corporate jets.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber in Manhattan granted the motion to cancel the leases during a Thursday hearing that lasted less than 10 minutes.

General Motors filed for bankruptcy on June 1 and is aiming to emerge as a new company within a few months.

(Reporting by Caroline Humer, editing by Maureen Bavdek and Lisa Von Ahn)

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