One Year of Official Operations! – State of the Airline
As we reach our one year mark of official operations I wanted to take a quick moment to look back at what we have accomplished as a group together over the last year. During a time when the world seemed upside down due to the effects of Covid-19 we saw many changes to our everyday lives including a screeching halt to the aviation industry. We all saw the changes to our local communities and countries as the world just seemed to stop for a while. The vAAirlines team was concerned about opening up just due to the fact that it seemed like everything else was shutting down, but then soon realized that we could hopefully bring an escape from the outside world and give people a place to experience some of the magic of flight and the American Airlines operation from the comfort of their home. We have had some amazing help along the way and have been very fortunate to have been able to partner with some awesome people and organizations that have truly helped us with re-imagining what it is like to participate in a virtual airline.
Fast forward a year in the vAAirlines world and I am very proud to say that we, as an entire team of both staff and pilots, have been able to combine for just shy of 2,300 flights flown for over 5,300 hours of total time. This is truly amazing and I could not be more proud of those numbers alone while also thinking about the future of our organization as you all continue to make it exceed expectations and grow into something unique. The growth has not come without struggle as we did could not even begin to imagine the fluidity of the flight schedules during the pandemic, and our attempts at keeping a highly accurate flight schedule would often come up short due to the changes that seemed to take place every hour. Thankfully we have been seeing a trend towards normality with those schedules from American with better future planning as well that should allow us to maintain a very detailed and accurate schedule moving forward with more frequent updates. Technology difficulties were also a growing pain that we continue to work through as we currently operate on a heavily upgraded version of very outdated 2010 technology, but are starting to see signs of its age. We have been able to make some strides towards a new system and some pretty amazing technology that will not only make our website faster with optimizations, but also give us more opportunity to innovate and create even more features for you all. Through the struggles and growing pains you all have truly shined through and have made some amazing accomplishments as a pilot group. We’ve had 6 members join the Century Club with 2 of those members also joining the Double Century Club and 1 pilot also speeding his way through into the Triple Century Club. Our pilot group represents an amazing total of 23 countries spanning across the globe and have come together to criss cross the virtual skies for almost 2,000,000 total miles!
Shifting our eyes down to the end of the runway to see the goals of the next year of operations sparks some excitement for some of the things that will soon be headed our way in terms of technology, operation, and something that has been talked about briefly before but will have it’s own full announcement in the coming weeks as we will finally be able to take a look back at the true history of American Airlines/AAG. I’d like to thank every single one of you for putting your time into our organization over the past year whether you are a senior pilot who’s been here from the beginning, or one who has just joined the ranks recently. I look forward to another great year of operations and advancements as we continue to build our legacy and transform our organization for the better. Thank you!
An anniversary would not be complete without a group flight to celebrate! Join us on June 14, 2021 (14JUN21) at 2300z (1800 CDT) from KSTL-KORD as we celebrate our one year of official operations while paying homage to the start of American Airlines by flying the same route that was flown in 1926. Check out the events section of our website for more information on the event as well as the aircraft available for the flight and a special note about the aircraft categories available. To navigate to the event calendar just visit the main website’s navigation bar > Operations > Airline Ops > Airline Events. Signup there and we look forward to flying with you this Monday night!
CAT Free Month
To continue the celebration of our one year mark, I am very pleased to announce that starting at 0501z (0001 CDT) on 15JUN21 we will be CAT FREE for a month! This means that you may fly any aircraft in the system regardless of your current rank allowing you to break out the heavies and enjoy some of the new summer long haul destinations that American has added to their schedule! Please keep in mind that all other sections of the SOPPHB still do apply when completing flights and that this waiver is only for the specific category of aircraft that is available for you to fly. The CAT FREE month will conclude at 2359z (1859 CDT) on 13JUL21 for arrivals so make sure to be blocked in and headed to the hotel before that time/date to get credit for the flight!
We are always looking for volunteers to help out with our operation on various levels! Once you are logged in to the website navigate back to the same page where you first applied (Crew Center > Staff Openings) to see the positions that we are looking to fill. If you are interested in helping out please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of the staff with any questions and feel free to put an application in when you feel ready to do so!
With travel restrictions beginning to be removed and summer travel picking up tremendously I want to urge you all to take advantage of this amazing partnership with our friends over at Extreme Flight Simulation. For those who don’t know, EFS houses an amazing 1/1 scale Boeing 737-800NG simulator that accurately simulates all of the aircraft systems with original aircraft parts creating a simulation that is “as real as it gets”. EFS has offered us an amazing partnership that allows our members to fly their simulator for heavily discounted rates while also getting credit for the flight through vAAirlines after the flight. You do not need to be a Group II or Group III pilot to participate in this partnership and I urge all of you to take advantage of this amazing opportunity as you are able to! For more information about the EFS partnership and to get started please visit the “EFS Details” tab in the Pilot Portal once logged in to the main website. You can also visit EFS by clicking here to be taken to their direct website to see more details about the simulator!