Israir Airlines (Tel Aviv) and WheelTug plc have announced their execution of a Letter of Intent (LOI) to enter into an agreement under which Israir will deploy WheelTug aircraft drive systems for its Airbus A320 fleet, subject to financial and operational feasibility checks and regulatory approvals. The deal makes Israir WheelTug’s the first launch customer for A320, and reserves 10 WheelTug System delivery slots for Israir.
The WheelTug® electric drive system uses high-performance electric motors, installed in the nose gear wheels of an aircraft, to provide full mobility while on the ground, without the use of the aircraft’s jet engines or tugs for both pushback and taxi operations.
WheelTug enables aircraft to be electrically driven from the terminal gate to the takeoff runway, and upon landing from runway exit to the gate. The resulting improvements in efficiency, flexibility, fuel savings, and reduced engine foreign object damage (FOD) yield projected savings a substantial operating expenses per aircraft per year, plus substantial reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.
The WheelTug system is also being developed for the Boeing 737NG.
Israir Airlines (Tel Aviv) has taken delivery of its first 72-seat ATR 72-500 in the form of ATR 72-212A 4X-ATH (msn 931). A second copy will follow at the end of this month. The ATR 72 will join three ATR 42-320s and two Airbus A320s.
The ATRs mainly operate on the Tel Aviv (Sde Dov-City Airport) and Eilat on the Red Sea.