UNITED AIRLINES CHAIRMAN Gerald Greenwald just could not bring himself to pursue USAir. After six weeks of analyzing a bid for his rival and of consulting with United's unions, he walked into a Nov. 13 board meeting and recommended against making an offer. The board didn't even hold a vote. The sticking point: Buying financially troubled USAir would have delayed United's return to an investment-grade credit rating, which it lost last year after undergoing a $5 billion employee buyout. But that doesn't mean United is finished with USAir. Greenwald still wants to beef up UAL's East Coast routes and may bid for part of USAir, United sources say.

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