Market Commentary

United Airlines Flight Loses Wheel on Takeoff, Lands Safely

Namra Pervaiz
9 Jul 2024 · 2 minutes read

A United Airlines Holdings (UAL:US) jet lost a landing-gear wheel during take-off from Los Angeles but safely landed in Denver, its planned destination, with no injuries reported, the airline confirmed.

“The wheel has been recovered in Los Angeles, and we are investigating what caused this event,” United said in a statement on Monday. This incident marks the second such occurrence for the airline this year.

The aircraft involved was a nearly 30-year-old Boeing 757-200, according to FlightRadar24 data, carrying 174 passengers and 7 crew members. Boeing Co (BA:US) ceased production of the 757 in 2004.

In March, a United Airlines Boeing 777-200 jet headed for Japan lost a tire mid-air after taking off from San Francisco, eventually landing safely at Los Angeles International Airport. The wheel landed on a car in an airport employee parking lot, breaking a window but causing no injuries.

Monday’s incident is the latest in a series of issues involving United Airlines planes. In March, an aircraft made an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport due to a hydraulic system problem. Another flight rolled off the taxiway into the grass while attempting to land in Houston. Additionally, United Flight 1118, a Boeing 737-900, performed an emergency landing in Houston after bright flames burst out of its engine en route from Houston to Fort Myers, Florida.

U.S. flight safety was thrust into the spotlight in January when an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9 door plug blew off mid-air shortly after taking off from Portland, Oregon, forcing an emergency landing and injuring several passengers.

United Airlines attributed a $200 million hit to its earnings in the first quarter of the year to the Alaska Airlines incident, which grounded many of its Boeing planes and contributed to the losses. Boeing faces significant challenges as it agrees to plead guilty to a criminal fraud charge in the United States. This comes after the company violated a regulatory deal following fatal crashes involving its 737 Max planes in 2018 and 2019, which resulted in the deaths of 346 passengers and crew. The plea includes a criminal fine of $243.6 million (£190 million). Since January, Boeing's stock has plummeted by 18.67%, reflecting ongoing repercussions from these incidents