SkyWest Airlines takes delivery of 3,500th LEKTRO TUG at LAX operation
Warrenton, Oregon….On Feb. 3, 2009, SkyWest Airlines of St. George, UT took delivery of LEKTRO’s 3,500th Electric Towbarless Aircraft Tractor at its LAX operation. Eric Paulson, President of LEKTRO Inc., flew to Los Angeles to “hand the keys” to Troy Pearmain, SkyWest Airline’s Director of Ground Support Maintenance. LEKTRO, based in Warrenton, Oregon, manufactures the world’s best selling Towbarless Aircraft Tractors, developing the world’s first towbarless tractor in 1967.
SkyWest, one of America’s largest regional air carriers providing service for United and Delta, has seen continued growth despite the economy. Pearmain stated that SkyWest is dedicated to doing its part to reduce green house emissions and uses electric powered equipment wherever possible. SkyWest has also found the elimination of towbars to be extremely beneficial in reducing aircraft damage, costs associated with towbars, and the time it takes to train its operators. “The LEKTRO Tug has definitely reduced our towing costs while at the same time eliminating emissions associated with combustion engine tractors,” added Pearmain.
Paulson noted that SkyWest is one of LEKTRO’s largest customers with nearly 50 units in operation throughout the SkyWest system. SkyWest purchased its first LEKTRO in 1998. In addition to the SkyWest fleet, SkyWest owns ASA Airlines which also has a fleet of LEKTRO Tugs.
The 3,500th unit is LEKTRO’s popular AP8750C-AL-700, a 75,000 lb. capacity stand up version designed to handle regional aircraft. The AP8750C-AL-700 is geared for the CRJ700 down thru the Embraer 135/145 and turboprop aircraft like the Dash 8 and ATR. The AP8750C-AL-700 has a 72volt DC battery supply that can operate the unit for approximately 5 hours on a single charge, which is more than most airlines need on a per day basis. At night, the AP8750C-AL-700 is placed on charge so ready for the next full day’s shift. The battery is warranted for 6-years, so replacing batteries is seldom a requirement as well. “I believe we are operating nearly all of our LEKTROs on their original batteries, which means some batteries are experiencing over 11 years of use,” boasts Pearmain.
Paulson is honored to have SkyWest as a customer and was excited when it turned out that SkyWest’s latest order was LEKTRO’s 3,500th unit. “It is quite a milestone to have placed 3,500 electric tow tractors into operation throughout the world. Just think how much impact that many electric vehicles has had on the environment. It is exciting to see SkyWest take such a lead in reducing green house emissions. They have definitely been an excellent example, as well as an excellent customer,” Paulson added.