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United Airlines clips Boeing 777 fleet's wings

Grounded for fire safety checks

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United Airlines has today cancelled dozens of Boeing 777 flights after it failed to perform the required fire safety checks.

Space is being sought on other airlines, but passengers have been warned of delays. Inspecting the 52-strong fleet's fire supression technology will take between 24 and 36 hours, according to reports.

In a statement, United said:

As part of a regular review of maintenance records, the company discovered that the functional test that checks the firing system on one of the five bottles in the cargo fire suppression system on the Boeing 777 was not performed.

We apologize for any inconvenience and ask customers to check their flight status on united.com before leaving for the airport.

United's 777 fleet is the largest in the US. The late 1980s design has a strong safety record, although recently one aircraft crash-landed at London's Heathrow Airport, narrowly missing a busy road. The investigation is ongoing. ®

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