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Complete list of grounded 777s United N773UA PW4000

The complete list of grounded 777s and where they are

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After the UA328 incident this past weekend (see here for the background and latest updates), attention has turned to Pratt & Whitney’s PW4000 series engines. Boeing quickly recommended inspections on all 777s powered by the PW4000-112, the specific variant on 777s, and the FAA has issued an emergency airworthiness directive (EAD) requiring stepped up inspections.

Variants of this engine are found on a variety of aircraft types (and in fact a smaller PW4000 on a 747 freighter also had a massive failure and shed parts after departure from Maastricht on the same day). Luckily for airlines, the number of PW4000-powered 777s is relatively few. Many of these are older airframes, as it’s been years since Pratt & Whitney engines were an option on new-build 777s (the majority have General Electric GE90s, the sole option on new and highly popular 777-300ERs, while Rolls Royce Trent engines power quite a few -200ERs as well.) And nearly half of the PW4000-powered 777s were already parked or in storage, mostly due to the pandemic.

The 777s in question are limited to just a handful of airlines in the US, Japan and South Korea. Regulators from all three countries have either recommended or ordered the grounding of fleets. So we wanted to take a look at our data to see just which of these 777s had been actively flying until this week, where they were flying just prior, and where they ended up. Boeing’s statement on the incident stated that there are 69 PW4000-powered 777s in service, and 59 in storage. These include both -200 and -300 (non-ER) series planes. Here, drawing on our tracking data, we identified the complete list of aircraft that had been active and have now stopped flying while inspections are carried out.

incident aircraft UA328 N772UA United Airlines engine failure grounding
The incident aircraft, N772UA, seen last year in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

It should also be noted that some of these planes straddle the line between active and inactive. For instance a number of the Japanese models have been parked since January, and a couple of them since earlier this month. Those aircraft may technically be considered “not stored”, or active in some sense, but they haven’t been flying for at least a few weeks and so the grounding made little difference to them.

The complete list of grounded 777s

If we decide that “active” means an aircraft that has at least flown once during the month of February, we can identify 58 PW-powered 777s that were active as of the grounding orders. This is the complete list.

All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA701A27938777-281PW4074Long-term storageVCV
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA702A27033777-281PW4077StoredHND
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA703A27034777-281PW4077Long-term storageSBD
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA704A27035777-281PW4077Part-out/scrapTPE
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA705A29029777-281PW4074Long-term storageMHV
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA707A27037777-281(ER)PW4090StoredTPE
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA708A28277777-281(ER)PW4090ActiveHND
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA709A28278777-281(ER)PW4090StoredFUK
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA710A28279777-281(ER)PW4090StoredHND
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA713A32647777-281PW4000ActiveHND
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA714A28276777-281PW4084StoredHND
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA715A32646777-281(ER)PW4084ActiveHND
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA716A33414777-281(ER)PW4084StoredHND
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA717A33415777-281(ER)PW4090ActiveHND
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA741A40900777-281(ER)PW4090ActiveHND
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA742A40901777-281(ER)PW4074StoredHND
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA743A40902777-281(ER)PW4074ActiveHND
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA744A40903777-281(ER)PW4074StoredHND
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA745A40904777-281(ER)PW4074StoredHND
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA751A28272777-381PW4090ActiveHND
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA752A28274777-381PW4090StoredKIX
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA753A28273777-381PW4090ActiveHND
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA754A27939777-381PW4090ActiveHND
All Nippon Airways (ANA)JA755A28275777-381PW4090ActiveHND
Asiana AirlinesHL770030859777-28E(ER)PW4090ActiveICN
Asiana AirlinesHL775530861777-28E(ER)PW4090ActiveICN
Asiana AirlinesHL775630860777-28E(ER)PW4090ActiveICN
Asiana AirlinesHL777530862777-28E(ER)PW4090ActiveICN
Asiana AirlinesHL779135525777-28E(ER)PW4090StoredICN
Asiana AirlinesHL825440198777-28E(ER)PW4090ActiveICN
Asiana AirlinesHL828440199777-28E(ER)PW4090ActiveICN
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA007D27639777-289PW4084ActiveHND
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA008D27640777-289PW4084StoredHND
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA009D27641777-289PW4084ActiveITM
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA010D27642777-289PW4084ActiveHND
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA751J27654777-346PW4090ActiveHND
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA772J27657777-246PW4077StoredHND
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA773J27653777-246PW4084ActiveOKA
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA894128393777-346PW4090Part-out/scrapSBD
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA894228394777-346PW4090Part-out/scrapSBD
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA894328395777-346PW4090Part-out/scrapSBD
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA894428396777-346PW4090ActiveHND
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA894528397777-346PW4090StoredHND
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA897727636777-289PW4084Long-term storageVCV
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA897827637777-289PW4084StoredOKA
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA897927638777-289PW4084ActiveHND
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA898127364777-246PW4084Part-out/scrap
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA898227365777-246PW4084Part-out/scrap
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA898327366777-246PW4084Part-out/scrap
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA898427651777-246PW4084Re-reg N101AR, StoredMZJ
Japan Airlines (JAL)JA898527652777-246PW4084Long-term storageVCV
Jin AirHL773334206777-2B5(ER)PW4090ActiveGMP
Jin AirHL773434207777-2B5(ER)PW4090ActiveICN
Jin AirHL774334208777-2B5(ER)PW4090ActiveGMP
Jin AirHL775034209777-2B5(ER)PW4090ActiveGMP
Korean AirHL752627947777-2B5(ER)PW4090ActiveGMP
Korean AirHL753027945777-2B5(ER)PW4090StoredPUS
Korean AirHL753127946777-2B5(ER)PW4090StoredPUS
Korean AirHL753228371777-3B5PW4098ActiveICN
Korean AirHL753327948777-3B5PW4098ActiveICN
Korean AirHL753427950777-3B5PW4098StoredPUS
Korean AirHL757327952777-3B5PW4098ActiveICN
Korean AirHL757428444777-2B5(ER)PW4090StoredICN
Korean AirHL757528445777-2B5(ER)PW4090StoredICN
Korean AirHL759827949777-2B5(ER)PW4090StoredICN
Korean AirHL771427951777-2B5(ER)PW4090StoredICN
Korean AirHL771528372777-2B5(ER)PW4090StoredICN
Korean AirHL775134210777-2B5(ER)PW4090ActiveGMP
Korean AirHL775234211777-2B5(ER)PW4090ActiveICN
Korean AirHL776434214777-2B5(ER)PW4090StoredICN
Korean AirHL776534212777-2B5(ER)PW4090ActiveGMP
Korean AirHL776634213777-2B5(ER)PW4090StoredICN
United AirlinesN204UA28713777-222(ER)PW4090ActiveXMN
United AirlinesN206UA30212777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN209UA30215777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN210UA30216777-222PW4077ActiveGUM
United AirlinesN211UA30217777-222PW4077ActiveSFO
United AirlinesN212UA30218777-222PW4077ActiveIAH
United AirlinesN213UA30219777-222PW4077ActiveDEN
United AirlinesN214UA30220777-222PW4077ActiveHNL
United AirlinesN215UA30221777-222PW4077ActiveHNL
United AirlinesN216UA30549777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN217UA30550777-222(ER)PW4090StoredSFO
United AirlinesN218UA30222777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN219UA30551777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN220UA30223777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN221UA30552777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN222UA30553777-222(ER)PW4090ActiveSFO
United AirlinesN223UA30224777-222(ER)PW4090ActiveEWR
United AirlinesN224UA30225777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN225UA30554777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN226UA30226777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN227UA30555777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN228UA30556777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN229UA30557777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN768UA26919777-222PW4077StoredROW
United AirlinesN769UA26921777-222PW4077ActiveSFO
United AirlinesN771UA26932777-222PW4077StoredSFO
United AirlinesN772UA26930777-222PW4077Active, under investigationDEN
United AirlinesN773UA26929777-222PW4077ActiveSFO
United AirlinesN774UA26936777-222PW4077ActiveSFO
United AirlinesN775UA26947777-222PW4077StoredROW
United AirlinesN776UA26937777-222PW4077ActiveHKG
United AirlinesN777UA26916777-222PW4077Inactive, maintenanceXMN
United AirlinesN778UA26940777-222PW4077ActiveORD
United AirlinesN779UA26941777-222PW4077StoredROW
United AirlinesN780UA26944777-222PW4077ActiveHNL
United AirlinesN781UA26945777-222PW4077ActiveHNL
United AirlinesN782UA26948777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN783UA26950777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN784UA26951777-222(ER)PW4090Inactive, maintenanceXMN
United AirlinesN785UA26954777-222(ER)PW4090Inactive, maintenanceXMN
United AirlinesN786UA26938777-222(ER)PW4090ActiveSFO
United AirlinesN787UA26939777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN788UA26942777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN791UA26933777-222(ER)PW4090Active, needs paintVCV
United AirlinesN792UA26934777-222(ER)PW4090ActiveEWR
United AirlinesN793UA26946777-222(ER)PW4090ActiveEWR
United AirlinesN794UA26953777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW
United AirlinesN795UA26927777-222(ER)PW4090ActiveEWR
United AirlinesN796UA26931777-222(ER)PW4090ActiveORD
United AirlinesN797UA26924777-222(ER)PW4090StoredORD
United AirlinesN798UA26928777-222(ER)PW4090ActiveOGG
United AirlinesN799UA26926777-222(ER)PW4090StoredROW

United is the most affected

United has 24 active 777s powered by the PW4000, by far the largest fleet of any airline. Theirs also do a wide range of duty, though these days that is mostly on domestic flights within the US, and many to Hawaii. Still we saw a number doing flights to Asia in recent weeks, including some that seem to have been cargo flights. The number of airports where these 777s are now grounded gives a sense of the range. A number flew to San Francisco prior to grounding – 6 aircraft according to our data.

That includes N773UA, the replacement aircraft for passengers on UA328 who still wanted to get to Honolulu. Interestingly, N773UA had a very similar engine failure in 2018 around half an hour before landing at Honolulu. Elsewhere, N210UA seems to now be stuck in Guam (GUM), after the grounding meant its onward flights to Tokyo and then the US were cancelled. Also worth pointing out: N791UA was flown to Victorville (VCV) on February 19, the day before the incident. The reason, we’re told, is for painting – and if we take a look at this photo of the aircraft, we can see it was very much in need. So this plane would have been on the ground for a little while anyway.

N791UA United 777-200 engine failure Pratt & Whitney PW4000 where all the 777s are grounding
N791UA looking desperately in need of a paint job at the end of January.

28 more PW-powered 777s at United have been parked for some time already – a number of them since right back at the beginning of the pandemic in March. A good deal of these are on the ground in Roswell, NM.

Three airlines in South Korea

Korean Airlines, Asiana Airlines and Jin Air all operate PW-powered 777s. Korean had 6 out of 16 actively flying at the time of the grounding, while Asiana, whose entire 777 fleet is PW-powered, had 7 out of 9 active. Jin Air has just 4 and all of these were actively flying. In fact Jin Air was the last to ground its 777s, as it waited for an official order from the government before stopping flying. At this time all Korean 777s have been flown back to Seoul and are now on the ground at either Gimpo (GMP) or Incheon (ICN).

Korean Air’s HL7752 even did a very short hop from Gimpo to Incheon on February 22.

Korean Air very short hop Gimpo Incheon 777 PW4000 engine failure
This is what a Gimpo to Incheon flight looks like.

A bit of trivia: Asiana has the newest 777 of all these airlines (HL8284), and in fact it was the last 777-200ER ever built. Turkmenistan Airlines, Azerbaijan Airlines and the government of Equatorial Guinea all have 777-200s that were built later, but they are the -200LR variety.

Asiana HL8284 the newest and last 777-200ER
Asiana’s 777-200ER HL8284, the last 777-200ER ever built.

The rest are in Japan

Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways make up the rest of the active PW-powered 777 operators. These have mostly been doing domestic runs around Japan in recent years. Japanese domestic aircraft tend to be very high-cycle planes (meaning they have been pressurised and depressurised many times, a key indicator of aircraft age – see this explainer for more) so a number of these are reaching retirement age, especially after the pandemic advanced retirement calendars across the board. That’s more true at Japan Airlines. Some of ANA’s models are relatively recent – JA745A, the newest, was delivered in 2013.

JAL 777-200 PW4000 retired Tokyo
This JAL 777-200 was captured on its way to retirement with company titles removed at Tokyo Haneda in August.

A surprising number of these had been in Naha, Okinawa (OKA) just prior to returning to Tokyo and getting parked due to the grounding order in Japan. As you may have seen, one of the Japan Airlines fleet (JA8978) had its own significant engine failure just a couple of months ago, in December 2020. That was after takeoff from Naha and the incident bears a concerning resemblance to the two recent UA incidents.

What’s next?

Most likely these planes will return to service after very careful inspections of the engines and especially the fan blades. In the case of United we’re talking about an especially large fleet and even with the pandemic ongoing the airline will no doubt not want to keep 24 additional 777s parked for long.

On the other hand many of these 777s are older and, some, like the Japan Airlines models, were slated for retirement soon anyway. If it turns out that fixes or even inspections are too costly to be worth it, it could well be that some of these aircraft never return to commercial flight.

Featured image © Elise Van de Putte
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