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Tuesday, 23 February 2021

EgyptAir grounds four Boeing 777s in response to engine failure

EgyptAir has grounded four Boeing 777-200 planes using the same engine as the one which broke apart after take-off from Denver on Saturday. Boeing on Sunday recommended that airlines ground 777 planes using the Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines while it investigates the cause of the incident, leading the Civil Aviation Ministry to announce (pdf) last night that all of its planes equipped with the engine will remain out of action until further notice. The four affected planes were stored and out of use prior to the incident, Roshdy Zakaria, chairman and CEO of EgyptAir Holding Company, told Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi last night (watch, runtime: 3:15).

The inciting incident: Dozens of Boeing 777 jets have been grounded worldwide after an engine failure on Saturday’s United Airlines Flight 328 from Denver to Honolulu resulted in an emergency landing. Boeing has said that there are 128 planes equipped with the same type of engine around the world, and recommended that operators suspend their use until the US aviation agency “identifies the appropriate inspection protocol.”

Egypt is the only country in the MENA region to use this type of engine, according to Bloomberg data. Japan, the US and the UK have all banned the use of the aircraft while South Korea has ordered that all engines on 777 jets are inspected.

What’s the current prognosis? Preliminary findings show that a damaged fan blade was the cause of the incident, suggesting that the engine exhibited signs of metal fatigue, the US National Transportation Safety Board said yesterday.

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