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Southwest Airlines Names LEKTRO Equipment Provider of the Year

LEKTRO Named Southwest Airlines Equipment Provider of the Year

Warrenton, OregonLEKTRO was recently named Equipment Provider of the Year by Southwest Airlines. The airline utilizes LEKTRO’s model AP8950SDB-AL-200 towbarless pushback tractors, which first debuted in 2014 and are certified to move every aircraft in Southwest’s inventory. It utilizes a proprietary limiter system that adjusts the braking and acceleration characteristics of the tug, ensuring a smooth and certified pushback.

The award was presented to LEKTRO in recognition of meeting or exceeding Southwest Airlines expectations for equipment reliability, customer service, parts support, training and overall value. Larry Laney, Southwest Airlines Ground Support Director noted: Since Southwest Airlines started purchasing equipment from LEKTRO in 2014, LEKTRO has met or exceeded the (award) criteria and has earned the respect of the entire GSE Leadership Team. Currently Southwest Airlines owns 45 LEKTRO towbarless tractors and has been an outstanding partner and definitely deserved the award.

“To be a relatively new vendor and receive this high of an award is not only a huge honor, but an affirmation to our business strategy and customer focused culture,” said LEKTRO spokesman Henry Balensifer.

LEKTRO manufactures and supports over 30 different models of their towbarless aircraft tugs from their headquarters in Warrenton, Oregon. The company continues to be recognized as an industry leader in towbarless pushback vehicles. Earlier this year they announced the delivery of their 5,000th tug, were named the Ground Support Worldwide Product Leader of the Year in April and sold their first production hybrid tug to launch partner Bombardier.


SWA Vendor of the Year Award (2)

Pictured (L to R) Larry Laney, Southwest Airlines Ground Support Director and Eric Paulson, President of LEKTRO.



LEKTRO is an Oregon based company founded in 1945 that specializes in the design and manufacture of electric vehicles. LEKTRO founder Wilt Paulson invented the first towbarless tow vehicle in 1967, revolutionizing aircraft towing. Since then, LEKTRO has been the leading producer of all-electric towbarless aircraft tugs. Eric, his son, took over the company in 1985, overseeing the development of the larger, modern tugs LEKTRO builds today. LEKTRO has produced a wide variety of pioneering electric vehicles over its 72 year history, including the first electric mink feeder and the first electric golf cart, as well as forklifts and warehouse vehicles. A single family ownership has guaranteed uncompromising reliability and function in LEKTRO’s products as well as unsurpassed product support. See more of their products and history at


About Southwest Airlines:

In its 47th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other air carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 54,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Southwest today proudly operates a network of 101 destinations in the United States and nine additional countries with more than 3,900 departures a day during peak travel season. Service to Turks and Caicos begins Nov. 5, 2017, subject to requisite government approvals.

Based on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s most recent data, Southwest Airlines is the nation’s largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The Company operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world, the majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi providing gate-to-gate connectivity. That connectivity enables Customers to use their personal devices to view video on-demand movies and television shows, as well as nearly 20 channels of free, live TV compliments of our valued Partners. Southwest created Transfarency®, a philosophy which treats Customers honestly and fairly, and in which low fares actually stay low. Southwest is the only major U.S. airline to offer bags fly free® to everyone (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply, some airlines may allow free checked bags on select routes or for qualified circumstances), and there are no change fees, though fare differences might apply. The airline proudly unveiled a bold new look: Heart. A new logo, aircraft livery, interior design featuring a new seat and Flight Attendant galley, Employee-designed uniforms, and an updated airport experience all showcase the dedication of Southwest Employees who connect Customers with what’s important in their lives.

From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as “The Southwest Effect,” a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic whenever the carrier enters new markets. With 44 consecutive years of profitability, Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for a triple bottom line approach that contributes to the carrier’s performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities they serve, and an overall commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2016 Southwest Airlines One Reportâ„¢ can be found at

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LEKTRO’s customer service is the finest in the industry. Whether you want to buy a tug, need a part, or have a tech support question, we are standing by to serve you.