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United Airlines expects Boeing 777s to return to sky in Q1 of 2022

CHICAGO, Oct 20 (Reuters) – United Airlines (UAL.O) mentioned on Wednesday its Boeing (BA.N) 777-200 planes outfitted with Pratt & Whitney (PW) engines are anticipated to return to service as early as in the primary quarter of 2022.

The Chicago-based service had to floor the wide-body jets after a United flight to Honolulu suffered an engine failure and made an emergency touchdown in February in Denver.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered speedy inspections of Boeing 777 planes fitted with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines after the incident.

On Wednesday, the regulator mentioned it’s nonetheless evaluating the producers’ proposed fixes and won’t approve them till it’s happy that they tackle its security issues.

“Any work performed on the airplanes prior to that time is subject to being affected by any new Airworthiness Directives,” the FAA mentioned in an announcement.

Greg Hart, United’s govt vp, technique and planning, mentioned the corporate has not heard from the FAA, nevertheless it expects the plane to return to service in the primary quarter of subsequent yr.

“We have been working tirelessly with Boeing, Pratt & Whitney and the FAA over the past six months,” he mentioned.

United is the one U.S. operator of 777s with the PW4000 engine and has 52 such planes.

The anticipated return of the planes is a key ingredient of the corporate’s technique to ramp up worldwide capability by 10% subsequent yr.

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson mentioned in May the company was going to mandate strengthening a key engine half on Boeing 777-200 planes with the PW4000 engines.

Dickson informed a U.S. House committee that the company is “requiring the manufacturers to address strengthen(ing) the cowling” and can problem an airworthiness directive.

Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh; further reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Nick Zieminski

A United Airlines Boeing 777-200ER lands at San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California, April 14, 2015. REUTERS/Louis Nastro/File Photo

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