The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said that its heightened oversight of United Airlines (UA, Chicago O'Hare) will continue, despite the carrier declaring to employees that the authority had given it the “good news” of allowing it “to begin the process of restarting our certification activities, including new aircraft and routes.”

An FAA spokesperson told ch-aviation that it “has not approved any expansion of United Airlines' routes or fleets. The Certificate Holder Evaluation Program that the FAA is conducting for United is ongoing and safety will determine the timeline for completing it. Additionally, the agency is requiring FAA personnel to be present when United conducts final inspections of newly delivered aircraft that are replacing older models.”

The FAA announced in March that it would be increasing its oversight of United to ensure it complies with safety regulations after several incidents including a runway excursion at Houston Intercontinental, a B777-200ER that lost a tyre while climbing out of San Francisco, and an external panel found missing from an aircraft after it landed. None of these incidents caused casualties or injuries. The Office of the Inspector General at the US Department of Transportation (DOT) later initiated an audit of the FAA’s oversight to evaluate the administration’s actions.

While certification activities in process at the time were allowed to continue, the FAA said future projects would be delayed based on the review’s findings.

In April, United Airlines announced the delay of two new international routes, namely New York Newark-Faro and Tokyo Narita-Cebu, citing the pause from the FAA’s probe.

During a quarterly investors call, United’s chief executive Scott Kirby welcomed the FAA’s engagement and said the company was embracing this review as an opportunity to raise its safety culture standards. “Through the FAA review, I’m confident that we will uncover opportunities to make our airline even safer,” he added.

ch-aviation has reached out to United Airlines for comment.