WARRENTON — Local aircraft tug manufacturer LEKTRO recently announced in a press release it received the Southwest Airlines Vendor of the Year and Ground Support Worldwide Magazine’s Product Leader of the Year Award.
Southwest Airlines Vendor of Year
LEKTRO provides Southwest Airlines their aircraft pushback tractors, also known simply as “tugs.” LEKTRO only sells one model of tug to the airline, their AP8950SDB-AL-200, which first debuted in 2014. Despite only recently becoming a vendor, the product quality and the level of after sales support Southwest received were driving factors for honoring LEKTRO.
“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,” LEKTRO spokesman Henry Balensifer said.
Ground Support Worldwide Magazine Product Leader of Year
Ground Support Worldwide Magazine is the world’s leading ground support industry publication. After a worldwide review of new products and the companies that brought them to market, the magazine decided that LEKTRO’s newest tug, the AP8950SDB-AL-250 was singularly noteworthy. The tug was introduced in 2016 by LEKTRO at the request of major airline customers for a tug capable of handling both regional aircraft and all narrow body airliners in domestic operation.
Through an aggressive certification program and advanced engineering, the tug was certified to handle the Boeing 757, 737, 717, and MD-80-95; Airbus A318-321, Bombardier Q400 and CRJ series; as well as the Embraer ERJ and E-Series of aircraft. No other aircraft tug in its class is certified to safely handle that many aircraft. The most remarkable part the magazine noted, was at how fast LEKTRO was able to redesign, test, certify and put the tug into production, which took about a year.
LEKTRO continues to manufacture, ship, and support its all-electric, towbarless aircraft tugs from its headquarters in Warrenton. To date, LEKTRO has sold tugs to 93 countries and employees 93 local people.
“We have been building green vehicles long before green was cool,” Balensifer said.