WheelTug and Ethiopian Airlines have agreed to allocate 30 WheelTug systems to Ethiopian’s Boeing 737 fleet, increasing the number of assigned WheelTug slots to nearly 1,300 aircraft across more than 24 airlines across the globe.
The WheelTug system has high-performance electric motors which are powered by the aircraft’s auxiliary power unit and installed in the nose gear wheels of the aircraft. This allows pilots to gain full maneuverability and better autonomy on the ground, meaning they can carry out pushback and taxi operations, without relying on the aircraft’s jet engines or tow tractors.
Tewolde Gebremariam, Ethiopian Airlines CEO,said: “We are happy to partner with the world’s well-known aviation electric taxi innovator. Ethiopian Airlines has always been at the forefront of technology in Africa. As the largest airline in the continent, Ethiopian Airline now brings more people to Africa than any other carrier, and WheelTug will help our efforts to deliver the best possible travel experience to customers.”
Using WheelTug for breakaway-power, ensures aircraft engines are less likely to create the Foreign Object Debris (FOD) vortices, that can eventually decrease engine performance.
Ethiopian Airlines could reduce its costs and improve its system-wide performance through fleet utilization gains and more dependable departures. The carrier would spend less on maintenance expenses and its aircraft retaining greater value.
Isaiah Cox, CEO of WheelTug, said Ethiopian Airlines is a great addition to the company and they are excited to see Ethiopian expand its markets with a little help from them.