Vueling, part of IAG, has confirmed its partnership with WheelTug, the company which created the system of the same name that allows aircraft to taxi without using its engines and reduces the need for traditional push-back tractors with its electric propulsion system.

The installation of these state-of-the-art devices on Vueling’s aircraft will reduce both fuel consumption and noise emissions, in line with the company’s sustainability strategy.

Oliver Iffert, Chief Operations Officer of Vueling, said: “Vueling’s commitment to sustainability is resounding and, as part of IAG, we are committed to achieving net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Partnerships such as this one with WheelTug are fully aligned with our work to optimise the efficiency of our operations and allow us to continue to move towards our objectives both in the short and long term.”

Predictability of ground operations

On a technical level, the WheelTug system consists of an electric motor attached to the nose wheel and powered by the auxiliary power unit.

The device, which reduces dependence on push-back tractors, will help aircraft to taxi and allow a faster resumption of the operations after events such as adverse weather conditions, and will speed up the movement of aircraft within bases, improving the predictability of ground operations.

Vueling and WheelTug aim to work together to introduce the device, which will contribute to accomplishing the airline’s sustainability goals.


As part of IAG, Vueling has pledged to reach net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

Last year IAG reached agreement with Boeing to order 25 737-8200 and 25 737-10 aircraft, plus 100 options.

The aircraft will be delivered between 2023 and 2027 and can be used by any airline in the group for fleet replacement.

Luis Gallego, IAG´s chief executive, said: “The addition of new Boeing 737s is an important part of IAG´s shorthaul fleet renewal. These latest generation aircraft are more fuel efficient than those they will replace and in line with our commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

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