Page last updated at 20:56 GMT, Wednesday, 2 April 2008 21:56 UK

United grounds Boeing 777 fleet

United Airlines aircraft
United has transferred other aircraft onto the 777 routes

United Airlines has been forced to cancel flights after grounding its entire fleet of Boeing 777 aircraft.

United said that during a regular review of maintenance records it had discovered tests on a fire suppression system had not been thorough enough.

The airline cancelled 31 of its 84 daily 777 flights on Wednesday and expects more cancellations on Thursday.

United has been using other aircraft on the mainly long-haul routes as well as booking passengers onto other airlines.

Coincidentally, the US House of Representatives will be holding a hearing about airline maintenance on Thursday.

In recent weeks, American Airlines, Delta, Southwest and US Airways have all been forced to take aircraft out of service because of lapsed maintenance inspections.

The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement that United's grounded planes were not linked to a clampdown it is currently having on safety inspections, which led to some of the other recent groundings.

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