Reuters is reporting that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) may restrict operations of Boeing's (NYSE:BA) troubled 787 jetliner when it returns to service in the coming weeks.

Instead of flying long-haul routes over water, the so-called "Dreamliner" could be required to remain within two hours of an airport capable of handling an emergency landing, the wire service says, citing unnamed sources.

How bad might this be, and for whom? Certainly for Boeing, which has delivered less than 6% of the 787 aircraft ordered as of this writing. United Continental Holdings (NASDAQ:UAL) also stands to lose, says Tim Beyers of Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova.

In the following video, Tim explains that United's most profitable routes run over water, and several of those were to be serviced by the 787 this year. Now, the carrier may be forced to substitute with existing 757 and 777 aircraft.

Will the threat of FAA action keep you out of this stock? What about shares of competing airlines? Let us know what you think about United's prospects in the comments box below.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.