Behind the Scenes // Delta’s Supertugs
By: Taking Off
They’re a team not often seen by customers, but the women and men who operate Delta’s fleet of supertugs, the state-of-the-art, several hundred horsepower aircraft tractors used to move aircraft around the airfield, are a talented bunch.
At our hub in Minneapolis, the 37-member MSP Move Crew re-positions some 55 aircraft a day—that’s more than 20,000 a year—often during the dead of night, between maintenance hangars and Delta gates saving time and fuel while reducing the airline’s environmental impact. The team can safely and efficiently move a 350,000 pound aircraft to the gate in a matter of minutes, driving at speeds up to 20 miles per hour—all in an effort to maintain a safe and on-time operation for our customers. And they do it in all kinds of weather conditions.
It’s a well-orchestrated dance that requires a high level of craft and expertise, but they’re up to the challenge.