March 6, 2012
MUMBAI: Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, and WheelTug plc announced today the execution of a Letter of Intent under which Jet Airways, subject to all financial, technical and operational feasibility checks and necessary regulatory approvals, has the right to lease WheelTug Aircraft Drive Systems for installation on its Boeing 737NG aircraft
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.
Current commercial aviation practice utilizes a tug for aircraft gate pushback, while forward taxi is powered by the aircraft’s engines. Typically, a taxiing Boeing 737 burns 24 to 27 pounds of fuel per minute. The electric WheelTug® unit needs only four pounds of fuel per minute by using the aircraft’s auxiliary power unit (APU), representing an 80% reduction in ground operation fuel consumption, in addition to significantly less noise and freedom from dependence on tug availability.
In addition to lower ground operation fuel consumption, other intended benefits of the WheelTug Aircraft Drive Systems include: substantially reduced carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions, increased safety and flexibility of operations, faster turnaround times, reduced engine wear and repair costs, and decreased noise pollution. WheelTug estimates the total savings at over US$500,000 per aircraft per year.
WheelTug Systems will be offered to Jet Airways entirely on a lease, or power-by-the-hour model, so that the systems can be installed and operated on aircraft without any capital expenditure on the part of the airline whatsoever.
About Jet AirwaysJet Airways currently operates a fleet of 101 aircraft, which includes 10 Boeing 777-300 ER aircraft, 12 Airbus A330-200 aircraft, 59 next generation Boeing 737-700/800/900 aircraft and 20 modern ATR 72-500 turboprop aircraft. With an average fleet age of 5.81 years, the airline has one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the world. Flights to 76 destinations span the length and breadth of India and beyond, including Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Bangkok, Brussels, Colombo, Dammam, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai, Hong Kong, Jeddah, Johannesburg, Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, London(Heathrow), Milan, Muscat, New York (both JFK and Newark), Riyadh, Sharjah, Singapore and Toronto.
About Jet Airways KonnectJet Airways' Konnect service operates on key domestic routes, and is designed to meet the needs of the low-fare segment with value-for-money fares. Jet Airways Konnect links seven major metros - Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Kolkata – with several destinations across India, operating approximately 290 flights daily.About JetLiteJetLite is a subsidiary of Jet Airways India Ltd. and was acquired by Jet Airways in April 2007. Positioned as an all-economy, no-frills airline, JetLite operates a fleet of 19 Boeing 737 series aircrafts. The airline flies to 31 domestic destinations and 1 international destination (Kathmandu), operating 123 flights a day, on average.
Jet Airways, Jet Airways Konnect and JetLite have a combined fleet strength of 120 aircraft and operate over 620 flights daily.
About WheelTugWheelTug plc is a Gibraltar-based company which started developing the WheelTug® technology in 2004 with a proof of concept conducted in conjunction with The Boeing Company on a B-767. WheelTug is currently focused on developing its in-wheel pushback and taxi system for the 737NG family of aircraft, with a projected EIS of 2013.
© Jet Airways (India) Ltd.