|A United Airlines Boeing 777-200ER plane is towed as an American Airlines Boeing 737 plane departs from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo: Reuters)
The moves involving Pratt & Whitney 4000 engines came after a United Airlines 777 landed safely at Denver International Airport on Saturday local time after its right engine failed. United said the next day it would voluntarily and temporarily remove its 24 active planes, hours before Boeing’s announcement.
Boeing said 69 of the planes were in service and 59 were in storage, at a time when airlines have grounded planes due to a plunge in demand associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 777-200s and 777-300s affected are older and less fuel efficient than newer models and most operators are phasing them out of their fleets.
Japan’s transport ministry ordered Japan Airlines and ANA to suspend the use of 777s with P&W4000 engines while it considered whether to take additional measures.
Last year, a JAL flight from Naha Airport to Tokyo International Airport returned to the airport due to a malfunction in the left engine about 100 kilometres north of Naha Airport.
That plane was the same age as the 26-year-old United Airlines plane involved in the latest incident.