KLM to explore electric-drive taxi system

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Dutch carrier KLM has signed a tentative agreement which could lead to its equipping part of its fleet with the electric-drive system WheelTug.

WheelTug is being developed for the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 and will allow aircraft to taxi without conventional engine power.

Its Gibraltar-based manufacturer says it has allocated 258 delivery slots for the system, following previously-signed initial agreements with carriers including El Al, Israir, Jet Airways, Alitalia and Onur Air.

Neither KLM nor WheelTug have disclosed the number of aircraft which the SkyTeam carrier might ultimately equip. Installation is subject to certification of the system and the signing of a firm agreement.