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CEO Scott Kirby said -United Airlines is reviewing recent safety incidents and procedures for employees.

BusinessCEO Scott Kirby said -United Airlines is reviewing recent safety incidents and procedures for employees.

CHICAGO (Reuters) -United Airlines is reviewing recent safety incidents involving its planes and using the insights to update safety training and procedures for employees, CEO Scott Kirby said on Monday.

The Chicago-based airline has experienced several safety emergencies in the past two weeks. Last Friday, an external panel was found to be missing from a United aircraft when it landed in Oregon, prompting an investigation by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Before that incident, a United Airlines-operated Boeing 737 MAX rolled onto the grass in Houston. A United-operated Boeing 777-200 bound for Japan also lost a tire after takeoff from San Francisco and was diverted to Los Angeles, where it landed safely.

In a message to United’s customers, Kirby expressed confidence that the airline would learn the “right lessons” and “continue to run an operation that puts safety first.”
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the UAL incidents and reviewing the role of Boeing (BA). For investors, one of the immediate ramifications of the spotlight on safety is that airlines are reducing flight schedules on the expectation that Boeing (BA) will deliver fewer jets this year. Even outside of the Boeing (BA) development, JetBlue Airways (JBLU) announced that it is slightly reducing its flight schedule through the summer due to staffing shortages, despite hiring more than 3K new crew members this year. The summer travel season is typically one of the most profitable periods of the year for the U.S. airline industry.

“While they are all unrelated, I want you to know that these incidents have our attention and have sharpened our focus,” he said.

Kirby said United plans to have an extra day of in-person training for all pilots starting in May, and a centralized training curriculum for new-hire maintenance technicians.

In the aftermath of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 mid-air emergency prompted by a door plug blowout, U.S. aviation incidents are getting more attention.

Boeing has been under heavy regulatory scrutiny after the Jan. 5 Alaska Airlines incident, with inquiries into the company’s safety and quality standards in its production process.

United’s shares were down about 0.3% in afternoon trade. Its stock has gained 5.4% this year compared with about a 7% decline in the NYSE Arca Airline index.

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

The U.S. Global Jets ETF (JETS) is up 2.5% on a year-to-date basis.

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