British Airways introduces Mototok tugs at Heathrow

British Airways has become the first airline worldwide to introduce high-tech remote-controlled devices to push back aircraft across its short-haul operation.

The airline is modernising its operation to maintain and further improve punctuality for its customers.

In partnership with Heathrow, the Mototok tugs will allow British Airways staff to prepare aircraft for departure more efficiently.

The airline is the first commercial operator to deploy the devices across multiple aircraft stands.

The equipment, used to move Airbus short-haul aircraft, replaces traditional diesel tugs, allowing a single ramp agent to push an aircraft backwards from the gate remotely.

Emissions-free and capable of moving planes with precision, five Mototoks are currently in operation across 25 stands at Terminal 5.

They were integrated into the operation in August, and more than 100,000 customers have benefited from smoother departures already.

Klaus Goersch, British Airways chief operating officer, said: “British Airways is the most punctual, major short-haul airline in London.

“The introduction of the Mototok will help us to stay at the top of the league and keep our flights departing on time.

“This major step to modernise our operation is a first in the airline industry, and part of wider investment in new technology that will enhance the experience our customers have.”