SOURCE: WheelTug plc

WheelTug plc

July 10, 2012 05:00 ET

WheelTug Signs Letter of Intent With Onur Air for 22 A320 Aircraft

FARNBOROUGH, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Jul 10, 2012) - Onur Air, Turkey's largest privately-owned airline company, and WheelTug plc announced today the execution of a Letter of Intent under which Onur Air, 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 22 of its Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft. With this agreement, over two hundred and thirty WheelTug delivery slots have been reserved by airlines.

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). This represents an 80% reduction in ground operation fuel consumption.

In addition to lower ground operation fuel consumption, other 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 Onur Air 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.

WheelTug plc recently successfully installed and tested the first in-wheel WheelTug system in Prague. Video from the tests is available at: http://media.wheeltug.com.

WheelTug invites interested parties to visit its booth at the Farnborough International Airshow booth in Hall 4, A13. The Airshow exhibit runs from July 9-13.

About Onur Air

Onur Air currently operates a fleet of 34 aircraft, which includes 24 Airbus A320s. Onur Air, operating with the principle of excellent service quality since 1992, provides reliable services in the aviation sector, and has been running domestic scheduled flights in addition to its international lines starting from 2003. Onur Air has flights to 80 destinations in 20 countries in international lines, and to 12 destinations in domestic lines. Onur Air is the first and the only airline company that has received the EN9110:2005 Quality Standardization Certificate in Turkey. The company always provides value added services for its passengers and continuously grows thanks to its punctual operations and reasonably priced flight policy.

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