The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted certification for United Airlines’ Boeing 777 powered by Pratt & Whitney engines. This opens the door for the return to service of 52 units of the type.

Andrew Nocella, United’s CCO, said during a conference call, reported by CNBC, that «the FAA issued the paperwork late Monday (16). These aircraft represent about 10% of our capacity, so it’s a really big deal.» United indicated last week that the planes will return «gradually.» The return will start at the end of this month, and the airline will gradually add them to its international routes.

Related content: Boeing 777-200s powered by Pratt & Whitney engines could return to service early next year

United’s 777-200s were grounded nearly a year and a half ago. The type’s airworthiness certificate was suspended after flight UA328, bound for Honolulu from Denver, suffered an engine failure moments after takeoff. Worldwide there are 124 units of the 777-200 on the ground. Among the main affected are All Nippon Airways, with 24 planes, and Japan Airlines with 20.

The wreckage from Flight 328 fell in a residential area west of Denver. The plane returned to the airport of origin twenty-five minutes after takeoff. No injuries were reported among passengers nor on the ground.

Although a final incident report has not yet been completed, the FAA said it agrees with the changes proposed by Boeing and United. «We approve the changes to the Airworthiness Directives for Boeing 777-200s with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines,» the FAA said in a statement.

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