AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - Nov 15, 2012) - WheelTug plc announces today the execution of a letter of intent with KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, to explore possibilities to install the WheelTug aircraft electric drive system on its aircraft fleet in the future. WheelTug plc, based in Gibraltar, is developing the new technology. Subject to certification of the system and execution of a definitive agreement, the system will be installed. WheelTug now has 258 aircraft delivery slots allocated for this system.
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. This results in improvements in efficiency, flexibility, fuel savings, and reduced engine foreign object damage (FOD), plus substantial reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.
The WheelTug system is being developed initially for the Boeing 737NG and Airbus A320, the world's most widely flown aircraft.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines was founded in 1919, making it the world's oldest airline still operating under its original name. In 2004, Air France and KLM merged to form AIR FRANCE KLM. The merger produced the strongest European airline group based on two powerful brands and hubs -- Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Paris Charles de Gaulle. Retaining its own identity, the group focuses on three core businesses: passenger transport, cargo and aircraft maintenance.
In the Netherlands, KLM comprises the core of the KLM Group, which further includes KLM Cityhopper, transavia.com and Martinair KLM serves all its destinations using a modern fleet and employs over 33,000 people around the world. KLM is a leader in the airline industry, offering reliable operations and customer-oriented products resulting from its policy of enthusiasm and sustainable innovation.
KLM is a member of the global SkyTeam airline alliance, offering customers an extensive worldwide network. The KLM network connects the Netherlands to every important economic region in the world and, as such, serves as a powerful driver for the economy.
SkyTeam is a global airline alliance providing customers from member airlines access to an extensive worldwide network offering more destinations, more frequencies and more connectivity. Passengers can earn and redeem Frequent Flyer Miles throughout the SkyTeam network. SkyTeam member airlines offer customers access to over 490 lounges worldwide.