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United Airlines: FAA gives thumbs up for return of Boeing's 777

United Airlines: FAA gives thumbs up for return of Boeing's 777
United Airlines said Tuesday that the Federal Aviation Administration has given clearance for 52 of the Boeing 777 airplanes with Pratt & Whitney engines to fly again. File Photo courtesy of United Airlines

May 17 (UPI) -- United Airlines said Tuesday that the Federal Aviation Administration has given clearance for 52 of the Boeing 777 airplanes with Pratt & Whitney engines to fly again after an engine failure grounded the planes in February 2021.

United's chief commercial officer Andrew Nocella broke the news at a Bank of America industry conference.

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"Late last night, the FAA issued the final paperwork on our Pratt & Whitney-powered triple sevens," Nocella said, according to CNBC, noting that the plane represents 10% of United's capacity. "So, it's really, really material. You really can't rush safety."

The FAA said it has approved the service bulletins that Boeing will use to make the necessary changes outlined in the Airworthiness Directives to the airplane's engines.

United said last week it would start gradually putting the Boeing 777s back into service by the end of the month, pending the FAA's approval.

"We can and will return the 777 to service, but we are still working thorough that with the FAA, Boeing, and Pratt & Whitney," United's chief communications officer Josh Earnest said, according to FlightGlobal.com.

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"We are very respectful of the role that the FAA needs to play to confirm independently that it is safe to return."

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