My Virtual Airlines & My Fleet
Currently, I fly for SEVEN virtual airlines! A "virtual airline" is exactly that - an internet based, simulated version of Fictitious OR real world airline. Most of the 200 or so virtual airlines on the internet (known as VA's) are free to join and are often based on a real world counterpart - and they work hard to reflect their real world counterpart's Flight Operations. If you have a Flight Simulation programme, then you can join up. Most VA's are very friendly, have a range of flying opportunities for both skilled and novice simulator pilots (we are known as "Simmers") and can provide a sense of purpose to your computer flying activities.
Kowloon International is an example of a fictional virtual airline that is NOT based on a real world existing airline. Some years ago, I was among the team that began setting this VA up, but it did not work out and the VA no longer exists. Real pity - I always liked the paint job!
My Virtual Airlines ....
These are the Virtual Airlines that I currently fly for. I fly for all of these because they give me the chance to operate all over the virtual world and I am not just restricted to Europe for example. I can fly in North and South America, Europe, Asia and the Pacific region, including Australia and New Zealand. Each VA has it's own ACARs software (used for recording your flight and therefore your flying hours/logbook) and it's own pilot requirements, which mostly are easy to fulfil. Now, I also have my own Private Virtual Airline VAP AIR, with 16 aircraft and 2 Helicopters !
BAVirtual - based on the real British Airways and my primary VA, I have been with BAVirtual for 22 years now.
FlyUK - a fictional British styled VA that has a variety of operating aircraft and routes, plus code shares, I have been a member of FlyUK now for 8 years. They have one of the simplest ACARs Flight Monitors I have used. And a great bunch of people.
VAP AIR - my own fictional, British styled Private VA, we have sixteen aircraft and two Helicopters. With only TWO pilots on staff, we fly leasing flights anywhere in the world, Long or Short/Medium haul.
EUROLINK Virtual - another British styled VA, Eurolink was set up just a year ago and I myself had a hand in it's creation. Again, an easy to use ACARs and a pretty good schedule, especially for MSFS users, makes this a good choice for the new Simmer. The VA is officially due to open in the Summer of 2023..
UKSKYTOURS - a very new VA only recently set up by the founder of the original British Airways Virtual, UKSKYTOURS is another British VA with a great variety of flights. Again, due to officially open in the Summer of 2023
Virtual Airlines of Ukraine - primarily focused on Ukraine's national carrier UIA, this VA also includes other Ukrainian carriers including SkyUp, Windrose, Azur Air, MotorSich and Bravo Airways.
Here is an example of a virtual airline that IS based on a real world existing airline. There are at least THREE different VA's based on United Airlines and they each have something to offer the simulator pilot. United Virtual is probably the most popular today. Click the LINK to visit their site.
My Fleet ....
These are the aircraft I fly today, pretty much in the order I fly them. I try to list my hours as well. In years gone by, I was heavily involved with the 747-400 and some of my hours are not logged. But this is kind of accurate ...
Having been a Boeing man most of my simulated career, it was refreshing to get into the FSLabs Airbus A320 in FSX and P3D, but now I fly the A320NEO and A320-200 in MSFS and I really enjoy these two study level jets in MSFS. Current hours = around 400
I have flown the 737 and all it's variants in the various Simulators for some years now, but today I fly mostly the PMDG 737-800 or the -900 and -900ER with occasional flights using the -600 and -700 now all in MSFS. Current hours = over 600
The new A330-900NEO, found in MSFS is really great with the Headwind Modification option. Perhaps the best jet for Long Hauls currently in MSFS. However, the Boeing 747-800 included in MSFS, is set to be hugely updated. As a former 747 tester, I wait with bated breath! Current hours = around 250.
Earlier this year (2023), Asobo added Helicopters to MSFS2020 with the addition of the BELL 407. Generally, I fly this aircraft mainly to explore at low level and it is useful when checking out scenery for reviews.
Not yet flown it online or for a VA. Current hours = about 70.
Boeing 747-400 ...
Why is this jet listed last, I hear you say? For some time now, my flying has been mainly short/medium haul. In the past, I had a lot of time for long hauls and so many hours were racked up, certainly while testing. These days, I get to fly her now and again. Developed yet again by PMDG, the Queen is a beauty to fly and a real handful for Single Pilot Operations! Sadly, many airlines are phasing this great jet out of their operating environment now. A sad time. But I have many memories of flying her into Hong Kong's old Kai Tak Airport!
Current hours =
World Wide Virtual - Huge number of routes; Create your own Charters; Fly virtually anywhere! Another great bunch of guys and a really great ACARs tracking utility too.