United has started to bring their 767-400’s out of storage in Roswell, NM and is flying them to Hong Kong for required maintenance so they can be used to fly passengers again. The move comes after a subset fleet of United’s 777’s with the Pratt & Whitney engines was grounded following an engine failure on a 777 with that engine type was departing Denver in February of this year. The majority of United’s Boeing 777’s do not have this engine type and remain safely in service flying both domestic and international routes using the GE90 engines which have proven to be very reliable.
According United, the 767-400’s will start out on routes between Newark, New York City (EWR), and Houston (IAH) and San Juan (SJU) and will then expand to take on routes the grounded 777’s were flying. The 24 grounded high density Boeing 777-200 domestic version that was grounded had 362 seats. Passengers flying on the replacement 767-400 will find more space with the replacement airplane seating only 240 passengers with all business class seats facing forward configured in a 2-1-2 pattern in business and 2-3-2 pattern in economy. The grounded 777-200 had 2-4-2 layout in business and 3-4-3 in economy.