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United Airlines Regains Some Privileges That Were Suspended After Problem Flights

United Airlines says federal regulators are letting it resume adding new routes and planes after a series of incidents, including an engine fire and a tire falling off a plane after takeoff, led them to suspend the airline’s authority to make those moves.

United said Thursday that the Federal Aviation Administration notified the airline that it can restart those activities.

The FAA did not immediately comment on United’s report.

In a memo to employees, United called the development “some good news,” but it noted that FAA inspectors were still reviewing the airline’s work processes, manuals and facilities.

The FAA increased its oversight of Chicago-based United in March after a series of flight problems.

In one, a piece of aluminum skin fell off a plane flying from San Francisco to Oregon. Another plane lost a tire after takeoff from San Francisco, and another suffered an engine fire in Houston.

Pilots reported that rudder pedals used to steer on the runway failed after landing in Newark, New Jersey, and another plane rolled off a taxiway in Houston.

The incidents led United CEO Scott Kirby to assure customers the airline was safe.

Kirby said the events were unrelated but they “have our attention and have sharpened our focus.” He said United would review each incident to see if changes were needed in safety training and procedures.

The FAA said at the time that it focuses oversight on airlines’ ability to identify and manage risks and comply with regulations.


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