United Airlines expects Boeing 777 to fly in the first quarter of 2022 Reuters

© Reuters. File photo: United Airlines Boeing 777-200ER landed at San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco, California on April 14, 2015.REUTERS/Luis Nastro/File Photo

Rajesh Kumar Singh

CHICAGO (Reuters)-United Airlines said on Wednesday that its Boeing (NYSE:) 777-200 aircraft equipped with Pratt & Whitney (PW) engines is expected to resume service as early as the first quarter of 2022.

The Chicago-based airline had to ground its wide-body jet after an engine failure on a United flight to Honolulu and an emergency landing in Denver in February.

After the accident, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ordered the immediate inspection of Boeing 777 aircraft equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines. In August, the regulator stated that a safety review is underway.

United Airlines executive vice president of strategy and planning Greg Hart said that although the company has not yet received news from the FAA, it is expected that the aircraft will resume service in the first quarter of next year.

“For the past six months, we have been working tirelessly with Boeing, Pratt & Whitney and the FAA,” he said.

United Airlines is the only 777 operator in the United States that uses PW4000 engines and has 52 such aircraft.

The expected return from the aircraft is a key element of the company’s strategy to increase international capacity by 10% next year.

The Director of the Federal Aviation Administration stated in May that the agency will mandate the use of PW4000 engines to strengthen key engine components of Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

FAA Administrator Steve Dixon told the House of Representatives committee that the agency “requires manufacturers to resolve the issue of reinforced fairings” and will issue an airworthiness directive.

In response to a report earlier this month, the FAA stated that United Airlines has begun to make changes to these 777s. “All operators will be responsible for complying with the requirements of the Airworthiness Directive. Any work done before then will be Will be affected” indicates.

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