Atlas Virtual Airlines (AVA) is a community platform dedicated to enhance the experience of flight simulator users. Our goal is to create a community of flight simulator enthusiasts, indiscriminate of their type of simulator and experience level. Everyone is welcome at Atlas: whether you use Flightgear, Microsoft flight simulator, X-plane or Prepar3d, whether you fly on vatsim, ivao or offline, we look forward to your participation.
With Atlas you can fly all over the world - we have more than 270 airports in all continents, including some of the most challenging ones like Gibraltar, Paro, St.Maarten, Telluride, Quito, Tegucigalpa and many more! All our airports are connected by scheduled flights, and if you can't find a suitable scheduled flight you can can still fly a charter. With our charter system you become a virtual entrepreneur, earning a percentage of the revenue when delivering cargo and passengers to their destination.
At Atlas you can have the flying career you never had in real life. Our ranking system is not just based on hours but also on your experience. You start small, with a few props or a medium-sized jet. With every flight you earn experience points: these points are given for smooth landings, flying frequently, flying scheduled flights on time, and for earning awards. For each rank there is a certain amount of points you need to have, so the better you fly the sooner you get a promotion - just like in real life!
You can also use the points to "buy" aircraft. The bigger the aircraft, the more points you need, so it's up to you whether you buy that big 747 or several smaller aircraft. Again, the better you fly, the sooner you will be flying the "heavy metal". If you are confident you know your stuff, you can take a quiz about an aircraft and earn a type rating this way.
Our website is full of features to make your pilot life easier: when preparing your flight you have all the information you need, like weather, airport charts, aircraft weights and checklists. All your statistics, user info, recent flights, awards etc are displayed on the top half of the page - accessible at any time simply by scrolling up. We also have a chatbox and a fully integrated forum, where you can easily get in touch with other pilots to exchange experiences and friendly banter.
In a nutshell, here's why you should join Atlas Virtual Airlines:
- More than 220 airports around the world, some of which are the most challenging in the world.
- A fleet of 13 different aircraft, ranging from the 19-seater Beechcraft prop to the "queen of the skies": the Boeing 747.
- Our ranking system is based on flight time and experience points. You earn points for smooth landings, flying on time, etc, and the more points you have the higher your rank.
- We have over 1300 scheduled flights per day, so you can choose from several flights at any given time.
- With our unique charter system you, the pilot, get to choose what you transport, where to, and when.
- There is no jump-seat system: you don't have to depart from your last arrival airport.
- AVA is open to everyone: whether you fly props or heavies, vatsim or ivao, and regardless what simulator you use, you are welcome at EVA.
- Our forum is fully integrated in the website, and there is no separate account needed thanks to our special one-click login system.
- All the info you need to fly is collected on a single flight briefing page: airport charts, weather information, route planner and a fuel calculator.
- Our ACARS systems make filing a pirep easy - download links and setup instructions for the most common software are on our website.
- Find scheduled flights quick and easy, straight from your pilot center. We also have a page where flights are listed by airport.
- In our picture gallery you can see screenshots of other pilots and upload your own!
A little Atlas-history
In 2009 there were various small, poorly managed virtual airlines in the multiplayer community. In order to tackle this problem, some members of the FlightGear community proposed a solution; a virtual airline which would recruit all active pilots and try to restore organization. Most remaining active virtual airlines, such as Island Virtual Airways, Japan Pacific Airlines and the Skynet Group agreed to merge to form a new, unified virtual airline, Atlas Virtual Airlines.
In Early April 2010, after several months of debate and development, Atlas Virtual Airlines commenced operations. About 30 pilots joined immediately, and the recruitment surge continued throughout April. After recruiting over 30 pilots, Atlas reviewed its structure and revised many aspects, such as fleet, destinations, and various other aspects of the running of the virtual airline.
In April 2011, Atlas Virtual Airlines welcomed its 200th member.
In July 2011 Jason Shepard, a founding member and vice chairman of Atlas, resigned and was succeeded by Trennor Turcotte. Various other new staff members were hired to fill old and new positions. This included the appointment of Mike Bravo, one of the first batch to join Atlas, as European Operations Manager. Atlas Virtual Airlines was near dead at the time due to a lack of interest of the founding members to run it properly. Although the original chairman of Atlas was formally still in charge, the day to day operations of Atlas was run by Trennor, Mike and Ray st. Marie. Together, they made structural changes in the airline and resuscitated it. Public interest in the airline picked up again and pilots could be seen flying under their Atlas callsigns more frequently.
Throughout the remainder of 2011 and the first half of 2012 Atlas Virtual Airlines grew in terms of pilots and destinations they could fly to. However, the managements hands were tied in some ways - for example they had no backend database access and no ability to make design changes to the website or add new functionalities. All they could do was add aircraft, destinations and routes. For this reason, and also due to a difference in vision of how Atlas should develop, Mike Bravo offered his management position in mid-2012.
In October 2012, Atlas Virtual Airlines reached 10000 hours flown. Atlas Airlines were positioned in the mid-30s among over 200 virtual airlines on VACentral and one of the most prominent airlines in the flightgear community.