United Airlines CEO Tries To Explain WTAF Is Going On With Their Planes

By Javier Sanchez | Tuesday, 19 March 2024 03:20 PM
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In a recent letter to United Airlines customers, CEO Scott Kirby addressed the series of incidents involving the company's aircraft, assuring that the airline is thoroughly investigating each case.

The incidents, which range from engine and structural problems to a wheel detaching during takeoff, have all occurred since the end of February, with five involving Boeing planes.

"Safety is our highest priority and is at the center of everything we do," Kirby stated in his letter. "Unfortunately, in the past few weeks, our airline has experienced a number of incidents that are reminders of the importance of safety."

While the incidents are unrelated, Kirby emphasized that they "have our attention and have sharpened our focus."

Among the incidents was a Boeing 777 that had to reverse its course midflight after departing from Sydney due to a hydraulic leak. Prior to this, an Airbus A320, heading to Mexico City, was compelled to make an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport following a reported hydraulics issue.

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In another incident, a Boeing 737 veered onto the grass at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston after landing. Meanwhile, a Boeing 777-200 aircraft destined for Japan lost a tire shortly after taking off from San Francisco.

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Earlier this month, a flight from Houston to Fort Myers, Florida, was forced to make an emergency landing due to an engine issue. A video captured flames erupting from one of the plane's engines as a crew member acknowledged the situation.

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In February, a Boeing 757 operated by United had to divert to address an issue with the slat on the wing of the aircraft. A passenger reported seeing the wing "coming apart" and missing noticeable chunks during the flight.

FOX Business reached out to Boeing and Airbus for comment.

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Kirby revealed that United is currently reviewing the details of each incident to better understand what transpired. The insights gained from these reviews will "inform our safety training and procedures across all employee groups," he added.

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United had already planned to provide pilots with an additional day of in-person training starting in May, according to Kirby. The airline has also developed a centralized training curriculum for new-hire maintenance technicians.

"We're also dedicating more resources to supplier network management," Kirby stated.

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The CEO emphasized his commitment to empowering the company's team to voice concerns if they notice something amiss. Despite the recent incidents, Kirby assured passengers that they can "be confident that every time a United plane pulls away from the gate, everyone on our team is working together to keep you safe on your trip."

FOX Business' Lawerence Richard and Greg Norman contributed to this report.

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