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TRUMP WON'T BOOST EASTERN SHUTTLE BID

Developer Donald Trump says he'll take his $365 million offer for Eastern Airlines' Northeast shuttle "and go home" if the deal isn't approved by the end of the week.

Trump announced Monday he won't raise his bid after a federal bankruptcy judge gave strikebound Eastern another day to consider a rival offer for the shuttle from America West Airlines.

"The price I am paying is already too high," Trump said. "If my deal is not approved by the end of this week, I will take my $8 million fee and go home. I will not agree to any extensions."

Trump's agreement with Eastern expires at midnight Friday. Under the contract, Eastern would pay the developer $8 million if the deal collapses. Trump said he has invested less than that amount in shuttle preparations.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Burton R. Lifland adjourned until 2 p.m. today a hearing at which attorneys for Eastern, its unions and creditors were to discuss the offers.

Miami-based Eastern and a committee representing creditors sought the extra time so they could evaluate the bids, including the question of whether America West could get financing.

Eastern agreed to sell the shuttle to Trump, but last week Lifland gave the airline more time to consider America West's bid.

Phoenix-based America West has offered a package of $415 million for the shuttle and $336 million for 10 Boeing 757s. Alternatively, America West would buy only the shuttle's gates and landing slots in the three airports for $375 million, without the 21 Boeing 727s included in Trump's deal.

The 21 727s, which are older than the 757s, have an estimated value of up to $80 million.

Harvey Miller, Eastern's lead bankruptcy attorney, told Lifland at Monday's abbreviated hearing that Eastern still had questions about America West's financing for the purchase.

Myron Trepper, an attorney for Trump, said: "Mr. Trump is convinced that they (America West) can't raise the money. They've been everywhere in New York, pounding the pavement."

The airline declined comment on its financing arrangements. "Those things are not ready for announcement," America West spokeswoman Daphne Dicino said from Phoenix.

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