Japan Airlines retires Pratt & Whitney-powered 777s a year early after United Airlines incident

Japan Airlines ©AirTeamImages

Japan Airlines (JAL) has announced that it has taken the decision to retire its 13 Pratt & Whitney-powered Boeing 777s a year earlier than scheduled. The news follows on from the grounding of the aircraft in February after a United Airlines 777 with Pratt & Whitney engines shed debris after what was later identified as a cracked fan blade consistent with metal fatigue.

In February, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration had ordered immediate inspection of all 777 planes with PW4000 engines before further flights. In addition, JAL had a problem last December with a Tokyo-bound 777 with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines that was forced to return to Naha Airport. “JAL has decided to accelerate the retirement of all P&W equipped Boeing 777 by March 2021, which (was) originally planned by March 2022,” the Japanese airline said on Monday in a notice on its website.

JAL will now be turning to the newer Airbus SE A350s on domestic routes to Osaka’s Itami Airport while using international planes for other domestic routes to maintain flight frequencies.

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