Vueling, part of International Airlines Group (IAG), has recently announced their new collaboration with WheelTug, the company that created the system of the same name, enabling aircraft to taxi without utilizing their engines. This electric propulsion system reduces the need for traditional push–back tractors and will result in lower fuel consumption and noise emissions, in line with Vueling‘s commitment to sustainability.
Oliver Iffert, Chief Operations Officer at Vueling, commented: “At Vueling, we are committed to the environment and, as part of IAG, we are working towards achieving net–zero CO2 emissions by 2050. This partnership with WheelTug is in complete alignment with our mission to optimize our operations’ efficiency and progress towards our objectives for the short and long term.”
The WheelTug system consists of an electric motor attached to the nose wheel and powered by the auxiliary power unit. This device reduces the need for push–back tractors, and will allow faster operations, even after events such as adverse weather conditions. It will also speed up the movement of aircraft within bases, thereby improving the predictability of ground operations.
Vueling and WheelTug are working together to introduce the device, with the aim of contributing to Vueling‘s sustainability goals. Vueling is an established low–cost airline in Europe and is a crucial player in connections with Spain. It is a leading brand at the Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat airport and in other important markets such as Bilbao and between the mainland and the Balearic and Canary Islands. Vueling has also invested continuously in several bases such as London Gatwick, Paris Orly, Amsterdam, Florence and Rome.
IAG, Vueling‘s parent company, has launched the FlightPath Net Zero programme and is aiming to operate 10% of its flights with sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2030, in order to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. With this partnership, Vueling is reaffirming its commitment to sustainability, and will continue to strive towards its ambitions.