Celebi Aviation is to invest up to €45 million to bring taxibots at its key Indian stations over the next five to six years to help reduce carbon emissions emitted in taxi-ing by airlines and airports.
The Turkish ground handling company is to roll-out taxibots across airports where it operates, including at some of India’s main hubs – Delhi, Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad.
Taxibots are a semi-robotic equipment that tow an aircraft from the terminal gate to the runway with the aircraft engine turned off.
The technology reportedly helps airlines to cut down fuel consumption by 85 per cent during the take-off stage as well as reduce carbon emissions.
Celebi Aviation chief executive officer, India, Murali Ramachandran said: “Our investment may go up to €45 million over the next five to six years if the industry takes to this technology.
“We plan to bring 30-40 Taxibots to Indian airports over this time period. Apart from Delhi Airport, where Taxibot operations have already commenced, we are also in talks with Bengaluru and Hyderabad airports.”
The company has already signed an agreement with Delhi International Airport Limited for seven years and is providing the service to SpiceJet. The airport became the first to use the semi-robotic equipment globally for taxiing of aircraft in May. There are two Taxibots at Delhi and plans to get three more in the future.
Celebi signed an agreement in May for a 50 per cent partnership in India-based KSU Aviation and has so far invested approximately €6.5 million. Each of these units costs up to €1.5 million.
KSU Aviation has signed an exclusive sales agreement with Israeli Aerospace Industries and TLD to deploy these units across India.
Celebi now provides services, including handling of passengers, baggage and ramp at Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Cochin, Ahmedabad and Kannur, but is reportedly looking to expand to other airports in India.