United says 787 grounding ‘manageable’

Washington DC
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United Airlines says that the grounding of its six Boeing 787s is "readily manageable", in an employee newsletter.

Jim Compton, vice-president and chief revenue officer, says that United is able to substitute in other aircraft on the 10 segments that the 787 flew in its system daily, in the newsletter on 17 January. It has 1,800 flight segments in its system every day.

"We have a huge fleet, and this is only six aircraft out of over 700 mainline airplanes," he says. "We were operating only one international 787 route - LAX [Los Angeles]-NRT [Tokyo Narita]. Starting Friday [18 January], we're putting a 777 on our LAX-NRT route, so we're not losing capacity."

Compton says that United has not experienced any of the battery problems that All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL) experienced. The airline is complying fully with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Boeing regarding the next steps.

A United 787 made an emergency landing in New Orleans on 4 December following the failure of a generator control unit onboard the aircraft while enroute from Houston Intercontinental to Newark. The aircraft returned to service six days later.