The moves involving Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines came after a United Airlines 777’s right engine failed on Saturday, scattering its protective outer casing over a residential area.
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 777 planes with PW4000 engines were in service and 59 were stored, at a time when airlines have grounded planes due to a plunge in demand associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The manufacturer recommended airlines suspend operating them until U.S. regulators identified the appropriate inspection protocol.
The 777-200s and 777-300s affected are older and less fuel efficient than newer models and are currently being flown by just five airlines - United, Japan Airlines Co Ltd (JAL), ANA Holdings Inc, Asiana Airlines Inc and Korean Air Lines Co Ltd.
Pratt & Whitney, owned by Raytheon Technologies Corp, said it was coordinating with operators and regulators to support a revised inspection interval for the engines.
Japan said ANA operated 19 of the type and JAL operated 13, though the airlines said their use had been reduced during the pandemic. »