Bad Headlines Prompt Letter From United Airlines

United Airlines aircraft | Image by Gary Hershorn / Contributor/Getty Images

Despite various mechanical and structural issues with United Airlines aircraft over the last month, the carrier’s chief executive officer wants customers to know that safety is the company’s “highest priority.”

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby issued a letter to customers on Monday addressing the rise in safety-related incidents over the last month.

“Safety is our highest priority and is at the center of everything we do,” the letter reads. “Unfortunately, in the past few weeks, our airline has experienced a number of incidents that are reminders of the importance of safety.”

While the various incidents were claimed to be unrelated, Kirby said they have forced the airline to sharpen its focus around safety.

“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,” said Kirby.

Besides the changes already in the works, Kirby said the airline will introduce an “extra day of in-person training” for all pilots starting in May and a “centralized training curriculum” for the carrier’s new-hire maintenance technicians. The company is also dedicating more resources to supplier network management, he explained.

United’s recent safety issues include an engine fire, a wheel falling off during takeoff, multiple hydraulic leaks, and more. United Airlines has reported a total of eight incidents since the beginning of March, with five occurring on Boeing aircraft, according to a list compiled by The New York Times.

While Boeing has received negative publicity over constant aircraft problems, a company spokesperson told The Dallas Express Friday that maintenance and upkeep were the airline’s responsibility and that Boeing prioritized safety and security at all levels of the manufacturing process.

The spokesperson also claimed that some of the airplanes involved in the recent incidents were at least 20 years old and required more detailed oversight from airlines during the inspection process.

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