Japan Airlines announces it's retiring Boeing jets equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines following 2 mid-air failures

Stephen Singer, Hartford Courant on

Published in Business News

Japan Airlines announced Tuesday it’s retiring Boeing 777 planes equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines following two mid-air failures, one involving a Japan Airlines plane last December.

With no known reports to resume the operation of Boeing 777 planes equipped with Pratt & Whitney engines, Japan Airlines said it has accelerated the retirement of all the planes by March. Sidelining the planes was originally scheduled for March 2022, the airline said.

A spokeswoman for Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies Corp., did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Japan Airlines said it was responding to an incident involving an engine failure on a Dec. 4, 2020, Japan Airlines flight from Okinawa Naha to Tokyo Haneda airport, and a United Airlines engine failure near Denver on Feb. 20.

Japan Airlines said it began operating Pratt & Whitney-equipped Boeing 777 planes in 1996.


Federal investigators are focusing on fan blades as they probe the third Pratt & Whitney mid-air engine failure in as many years, this one raining down debris on houses and fields in a Denver suburb.

In February 2018, a United Airlines 777-200 outfitted with Pratt and Whitney PW4077 engines, the same type involved in the Feb. 20 incident, suffered engine failure over the Pacific near Hawaii, after a fan blade fractured, according to an NTSB report released last June.

After showering the Denver suburb of Broomfield with debris, the United Airlines flight returned to the Denver airport with no reported injuries. The plane was equipped with two Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines.

Each of the mishaps ended in safe landings.

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