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United Airlines' (UAL) Boeing 777s May Remain Grounded in 2021

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United Airlines’ (UAL - Free Report) Boeing 777 jets, one of which was involved in the emergency landing at Denver International Airport in February, remain grounded as the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) continues to review the Boeing 777-200 planes with Pratt & Whitney engines, a Reuters report stated.
The 777 jet involved in United Airlines’ Denver, CO incident was powered by a Pratt & Whitney engine. The aircraft had to make an emergency landing at the Denver International Airport after one of its right engines failed soon after take-off. The plane was headed to Honolulu, HI. Following this flight scare, United Airlines has pulled out 24 such jets in its fleet after the FAA said that the jets required inspections.

Per the Reuters report, a Boeing spokesman said that the company was working closely with the FAA, its customers and Pratt & Whitney to “safely return PW4000-112-powered 777 airplanes to service.” Boeing has identified design changes and is working to finalize them, including a certification effort, the spokesman added.

A United Airlines’ spokesman has reportedly said that the company expects "these aircraft to return to service but providing anything beyond that in terms of timelines would be premature." In July, the airline’s chief commercial officer, Andrew Nocella, had said that the grounded jets were large in capacity and were used in domestic markets on the Hawaii route and hub-to-hub. So, the company is flying “well below” the level it wants to in Hawaii, Nocella added.

According to the Reuters report, The Wall Street Journal has reported that United Airlines’ 777 jets may not fly until early 2022.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

United Airlines carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Some better-ranked stocks in the airline space are Controladora Vuela Compania de Aviacion, S.A.B. de C.V. (VLRS - Free Report) , SkyWest, Inc. (SKYW - Free Report) and Corporacion America Airports S.A. (CAAP - Free Report) . While Controladora Vuela and SkyWest sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Corporacion America Airports carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

While shares of Controladora Vuela and Corporacion America Airports have rallied more than 100% in a year’s time, SkyWest shares have gained more than 37% over the same time frame.