Iberia deploys remote controlled electric vehicles to move aircraft


Spanish carrier Iberia, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, continues to invest in innovation and sustainability through the pioneering use of the latest technology.

Iberia Airport Services’ handling unit has deployed new “green” pushback” tractors to move aircraft in the Madrid and Barcelona airports. The emissions-free electric vehicles are operated by remote control.

In late October, Iberia Airport Services will have eight of the new, nearly silent vehicles in Madrid and Barcelona, and each one will effectively cut annual CO2 emissions by some 23 tonnes. They operate more precisely than their predecessors, for greater safety on airport ramps and greater punctuality of flights by all client airlines at the two airports.

“Each green push-back tractor will reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 23 tonnes a year”

The new “Motok Spacer 8600” vehicles are powered by 80V batteries which enable them to move as many as 28 narrow-bodied aircraft between charges. This category includes all the Airbus A319s, A320s, and A321s in the short- and medium range fleets of both Iberia and Vueling.

In the framework of the Iberia Airport Services’ Go Up! transformation programme, the handling operator has replaced 80% of its ground vehicle fleet with more environmentally sustainable equipment, while also using more energy from renewable sources.

Electric push-back tractors can be used inside hangars

Iberia Maintenance is also using the new electric vehicles to move aircraft in the hangars where it inspects and services them in Madrid and Barcelona airports.

About Iberia

Iberia is the leading carrier on routes between Europe and Latin America and it flies to 135 destinations in 47 countries in Europe, the Americas, Africa, Middle East and Asia. Together with its subsidiary Iberia Express and its franchise partner Iberia Regional/Air Nostrum, it operates about 600 flights each day with a fleet of some 140 aircraft.