China Eastern buys from Germany

Written by: Alwyn Brice |
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A total of 20 of Goldhofer's latest generation of towbarless aircraft tractors, the 20 AST-2X Phoenix, have been ordered by China Eastern Airlines.

With a fleet of 572 aircraft and more than 80m passengers carried each year, the predominantly state-owned carrier currently ranks seventh worldwide in terms of fleet size and passenger numbers. In the past two years in particular, the airline has greatly expanded and modernised its fleet, with the addition of more than 150 aircraft.

In order to be able to cope with the resulting increase in air traffic and speed up handling in the future, especially at the Shanghai hub, a total of 20 AST-2X Phoenix tow tractors from the house of Goldhofer were ordered for the city’s two airports at the beginning of 2018: 12 for Shanghai-Pudong and eight for Shanghai-Hongqiao. Goldhofer's towbarless tractors are designed to have high availability and, thanks to the use of low-wear components, minimum maintenance requirements. With a towing speed of up to 32 kilometres an hour under full load and a differential lock for optimal traction in a wide range of conditions, the new Phoenix can handle a pick-up in under a minute.

In addition to greater efficiency, the latest investment by CEA, which has set itself the ambitious goal of reducing its emissions on a sustainable basis, also has a focus on protecting the environment. The decisive factor in choosing Phoenix was therefore its drive system, which features the most modern and cleanest Tier IV Final engine currently available.

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