United Airlines B777 bound for Japan delayed for hours due to engine issue

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A United Airlines flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) to Japan was delayed for approximately five hours on March 18, 2024 after it encountered an engine problem.

Flight UA35 pushed back from the gate on time at 12:05 local time. However, after taxiing on the runway for almost one hour, the B777-200 aircraft returned to the gate.  

Passengers and crew disembarked, and the aircraft was held from taking off until 16:56 local time, almost five hours later. 

One of the passengers on the flight told media outlet Newsweek that the pilot made an announcement explaining that “the right engine is not working”.

Via a statement sent to various media outlets, United Airlines confirmed: “While taxiing to the runway for departure, our crew on United flight 35 received an indication of an engine start issue yesterday afternoon. They returned to the gate and the flight departed at 4:56pm to Osaka.” 

This latest incident occurred on the same day that United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby addressed the series of unfortunate issues that the airline has encountered over the previous two weeks. 

In an email addressed to customers, Kirby asserted that the airline has “sharpened” its focus.

“Unfortunately, in the past few weeks, our airline has experienced a number of incidents that are reminders of the importance of safety,” Kirby said in the email. 

“While they are all unrelated, I want you to know that these incidents have our attention and have sharpened our focus. Our team is reviewing the details of each case to understand what happened and using those insights to inform our safety training and procedures across all employee groups.”

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