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United Postpones Launch of Two New Routes Amid Increased FAA Oversight

The airline is halting the launch of two highly-anticipated routes due to recent scrutiny.

A United 757-200 aircraft (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

United says it is delaying the launch of two new international routes due to increased Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) oversight. The affected routes include Tokyo to Cebu, originally scheduled for July 31, and Newark to Faro, which was slated to begin in May.

Service to Cebu won’t begin until October 27, according to a United spokesperson. Newark-Faro won’t begin this year, instead slipping into Summer 2025.

This news comes after a string of recent incidents involving United aircraft, which prompted the FAA to initiate a closer look at the airline’s operations.

“Due to recent safety events, the FAA is increasing oversight of United Airlines to ensure that it is complying with safety regulations; identifying hazards and mitigating risk; and effectively managing safety,” the agency said in a statement last month. “Certification activities in process may be allowed to continue, but future projects may be delayed based on findings from oversight.”

The Chicago-based airline says impacted customers on these planned flights will receive full refunds or the option to rebook their travel on partner airlines without additional fees.

Additional Scrutiny

Because both Cebu and Faro are new destinations for United, the airline may require additional approvals to begin revenue service. It remains unclear exactly which certification activities will be restricted.

“United will still train, issue type rides, and conduct normal business,” the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) United MEC said in a letter. The pilots union noted that the airline will undergo an FAA audit called a Certification Holder and Evaluation Program (CHEP) in which the agency embeds inspectors into an air carrier’s daily operations to review “all facets.”

According to the union, these audits aren’t particularly uncommon. United’s last one was in 2018 and the FAA says they are conducted roughly every five years.

Ryan Ewing
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  • Ryan Ewing

    Ryan founded AirlineGeeks.com back in February 2013 and has amassed considerable experience in the aviation sector. His work has been featured in several publications and news outlets, including CNN, WJLA, CNET, and Business Insider. During his time in the industry, he's worked in roles pertaining to airport/airline operations while holding a B.S. in Air Transportation Management from Arizona State University along with an MBA. Ryan has experience in several facets of the industry from behind the yoke of a Cessna 172 to interviewing airline industry executives. Ryan works for AirlineGeeks' owner FLYING Media, spearheading coverage in the commercial aviation space.

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