Atlas virtual charter & cargo
The Atlas Virtual charter system (AVX) is a different way of flying for a virtual airline. In addition to your airmanship we are now calling on your entrepreneurial skills!
The idea behind AVX is that the pilot (yes, that'd be you!) chooses his equipment and destination based on the available cargo and/or passengers. The challenge is to select the combination of cargo, passengers, destination and aircraft that brings the most profit.
Your journey begins in the virtual warehouse at the airport you last flew to. To get to the charter warehouse follow the link on the homepage (under your profile info) or the dropdown menu of Pilot center.
In the warehouse you find a list of items that you can transport, its possible destinations and the revenue it brings. It also gives you information about the current fuel price and the aircraft you choose for the job.
See here, for example, the warehouse in Minsk:
On top you see the dropdown list with all the airports you can choose. The number in brackets identifies the amount of different types of cargo at that airport. If you don't like the destinations or the type of cargo at your current airport, just choose another from the list and click on change.
Next to that, you see the list of aircraft you can choose from, and data about your current selection, like range, capacity etc. To select another aircraft, simply select it from the list and click the change button. It is important to know that this list may not always show all aircraft: once a pilot has loaded cargo or passengers into an aircraft, it is removed from this list until the cargo is delivered.
The most important part of the warehouse is the list of cargo and passengers. You see in the example above we have passengers and some containers of mixed cargo for various destinations. You will notice that some rows are greyed out: in this case, GCXO (Tenerife) is beyond the range of the A321. If you choose an aircraft that cannot carry cargo, like the B737, then all cargo rows will be greyed out.
If you click on one of the destination links, a small window opens with a preview of your flight. This is what you'd get if you click on LJLJ (Ljubljana):
Here you see that we have both passengers and cargo for LJLJ. You also see the amounts you can load for each. On longer trips you will find that you cannot load the full amount of pax/cargo, because of the amount of fuel needed. In addition to this, you can see the amount of revenue you will make, the estimated time for the flight, weather information and aircraft weights.
The system will not let you load more passengers or cargo than there is available, or fit in the aircraft. For example, If you try to load all 713 passengers to Madrid, it will "truncate" the load and only add 189 passengers. To unload passengers or cargo, you simply enter a 0 in the textbox and the system will remove the item from the list. You can also alter the load by typing a different number.
The system will not, however protect you from flying empty or overweight. Always make sure that your aircraft is sufficiently occupied: transporting 150 passengers in a 737 will probably make a profit, but loading them in a 777 will certainly not. It all depends on the price of one unit and the distance, so it's up to you to determine what the best load will be.
The "deliver by" column tells you when the cargo needs to be delivered. When you load something and it expires during your flight, you will not be paid! It will simply show up as loaded cargo next time you enter the warehouse, so keep this in mind when loading.
You may also select multiple destinations. If you have some cargo to airport A and passengers to airport B, you can load both and first fly to A, unload the cargo there, and load another cargo that also goes to B. In this case, when you view the warehouse in airport A, it will list the cargo/passengers already on board in addition to the cargo that can be loaded. You can also change the aircraft if that suits you - the possibilities are endless!
Once you are done with loading cargo, you can click the Load cargo button. This will take you to the loadsheet:
Here you see a resume of the cargo or passengers that you loaded, the destination(s) and the total weight and revenue.
The pilot pay for charter flights is not by hour, but by how much revenue your flight makes: pilots get paid 5% of the revenue instead of their regular pilot pay.
In the example above, the expenses are V€1000 and V€0.67 per lb of fuel. An A321 would typically digest around €9000 worfth of fuel. The revenue would be €78611 and your pilot pay €3931. Not bad for a 2 hour flight, isn't it?<
If you loaded cargo/passengers to multiple destinations, you must select the first destination of your journey from the listbox. If you want to make changes, the change load button. will take you back to the warehouse. Otherwise click on proceed to briefing, which will automatically place a bid and take you to the pilot briefing page. This is the same briefing page you get for scheduled flights, with airport charts weather info etc etc.
If you use ACARS client software, you can now start the software and retrieve the bid, like you would normally do for a scheduled flight.
Now you can go and deliver that cargo!
Important: by clicking on the proceed to briefing button you commit to flying the booked itinerary. The aircraft is now reserved for you and we expect you to use it.
If you cannot proceed then please remove your bid, which will automatically remove the cargo.