Boeing to ground 777 airliners amidst rumors of engine failures


Boeing (NYSE: BA) has had an unfortunate history when it comes to recent aviation mechanical failures. The company has been dealing with the aftereffects of its 737 Max airliners, which were grounded for a long time following two major crashes that caused hundreds of deaths. While these 737’s are now back in service, it seems that another Boeing plane could be out of service for a while. Boeing said on Sunday that airlines should stop flying the wide-body 777 airliners following one instance of a 777 airliner’s engine breaking apart during a flight this weekend.

U.S. aviation regulators, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), will be conducting  inspections of these airliners following this unexpected engine failure. The flight in question, which took place on Saturday above Denver, involved a model of 777 that were using a specific type of engine known as the Pratt & Whitney engine. Approximately 128 of its 777 airliners have this type of engine, with a fair number of them already being in storage.

Boeing is actively monitoring recent events related to United Airlines Flight 328. While the NTSB investigation is ongoing, we recommended suspending operations of the 69 in-service and 59 in-storage 777s powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines until the FAA identifies the appropriate inspection protocol,” read an official press release over the weekend.

An initial investigation found that the two fan blades in one of the engines were cracked, one nearly entirely fractured while another was half-fractured. The other fan blades that weren’t broken also showed signs of damage. These types of engine failures, which involve internal components breaking off, are pretty rare for the most part, but can prove disastrous for a flight.

While it’s bad news for the airline, in terms of the actual number of airlines impacted, it’s not that big of a nuisance. The only American airline to feature these 777’s with these engines is United Airlines (NYSE: UAL). Across the ocean, there are a few Japanese airlines that use these airliners, with Japanese regulators having already stopped all airlines from flying these planes, around 32 in total in the country.

Shares of Boeing were up around 4.3% on Friday. However, it wouldn’t be surprising if Boeing’s stock tumbles a bit in response to the news on Monday when the markets open up. Over the past 12-months, shares of Boeing have fallen by around one-third, and even following the return of its previously grounded airliners, most analysts think that Boeing’s stock won’t’ be recovering anytime soon.

Boeing Company Profile

Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace and defense firm. With headquarters in Chicago, the firm operates in four segments, commercial airplanes, defense, space & security, global services, and Boeing capital. Boeing’s commercial airplanes segment produces about 60% of sales and two-thirds of operating profit, and it competes with Airbus in the production of aircraft ranging from 130 seats upwards. Boeing’s defense, space & security segment competes with Lockheed, Northrop, and several other firms to create military aircraft and weaponry. The defense segment produces about 25% of sales and 13% of operating profit, respectively. Boeing’s global services segment provides aftermarket servicing to commercial and military aircraft and produces about 15% of sales and 21% of operating profit. – Warrior Trading News