News

Happy New Year and we wish you all the best for 2024!

This month's news update will highlight some of our development updates, as well as future plans.

Development updates

We have completed our work on individual airline load factors, with every airline having been assigned a custom load factor mirroring real world operations. The passenger and cargo levels on your flight are now based on these airline load factors, and should be a more realistic representation of real-world load factors.

We are investigating adding score bonuses when completing a tour based on tour distance. These will apply retroactively, as well as to newly completed tours. We don't have a solid time frame on this, but hope to implement this in the coming few months. Moreover, we are working on adding a new filter on routes for only showing tour legs to help you in finding new tours to complete. To coincide with this, we are also investigating improving discoverability of tours. If you have any ideas on how to improve this, please let us know.

Airline updates

A takeover bid has been submitted by the Air France-KLM consortium to takeover SAS. This deal is currently awaiting regulatory approval. When/if regulatory approval has been granted SAS will be moved to our sister VA from StarAlliance virtual. ITA Airways' inclusion in the Lufthansa group will see ITA Airways join StarAlliance virtual when regulatory proceedings have concluded. We expect more changes throughout the year as the Korean Air merger with Asiana nears its deadline, though approval of this deal is not guaranteed.

We will follow real-world events closely and keep you informed in these posts of future happenings.

Tour updates

We have introduced a numerous new airline tours and location tours. Throughout the coming year we will slowly be reworking and replacing older tours that have been active for more than two years.

The monthly tour takes you across Asia and Oceania. If you have any suggestions on tours you would like to see please let us know on Discord.

Closed airspaces

Current scheduled flight time durations may need to be amended due to longer flying times on account of closed airspace. We would recommend checking your route prior to departure especially if it crosses and known airspaces with known security warnings. A complete overview can be found here.

Please adhere to these closures when performing flights on the VA.

Event Updates

We are working with the vACEPG initiative to co-host more VATSIM events. Please check the Events page for more details, we hope to see you there! Please let us know via Discord what kind of events you would like to see! If you have other events on online platforms that you feel are a good match to include on the VA please let us know. To receive more frequent updates please subscribe to the Event Announcements notifications on our Discord server.

Closing words

As always if you have any suggestions or questions do not hesitate to let us know.

We would also like to remind you we have a Discord server. To join it, use discord.gg/gUTREjv.

Hello Pilots,

This month's news update will highlight some schedule updates, as well as some VA update news.

Development updates

We are working towards an overhaul of the passenger and payload system used for flight briefings. This will encompass individualized load factors on a by airline basis, with normalized distribution. Further load factors will be split between passenger and cargo load factors to provide more accuracy within the provided flight briefings. This will be rolling out before the end of the year. Further we are looking to rework the tours page to provide better discovery options and improve clarity on legs that have not been flown yet.

Schedule updates

We will be moving to the Northern Winter/ Southern Summer flying season in the coming weeks. We expect to complete this changeover by mid-November. If you notice any irregular flight times and/or missing routes after this time please let us know in the Discord server or in a support ticket.

Tour updates

We have introduced a number of new themed tours, and are working on further expanding our tour selection based on your suggestions on Discord.

The monthly tour takes you across the Pacific and the United States. If you have any suggestions on tours you would like to see please let us know on Discord.

Closed airspaces

Current scheduled flight time durations may need to be amended due to longer flying times on account of closed airspace. We would recommend checking your route prior to departure especially if it crosses and known airspaces with known security warnings. A complete overview can be found here.

Please adhere to these closures when performing flights on the VA.

Event Updates

We are working with the vACEPG initiative to co-host more VATSIM events. Please check the Events page for more details, we hope to see you there! Please let us know via Discord what kind of events you would like to see! If you have other events on online platforms that you feel are a good match to include on the VA please let us know. To receive more frequent updates please subscribe to the Event Announcements notifications on our Discord server.

Closing words

As always if you have any suggestions or questions do not hesitate to let us know.

We would also like to remind you we have a Discord server. To join it, use discord.gg/gUTREjv.

Hello Pilots,

This month's news update will highlight some airline updates, as well as some VA update news.

Development Updates

All fleets now have individual cabin configurations. If you find any anomalies or missing data please let us know. Moreover, all airlines have been assigned either imperial or metric units for use in on the flight briefing page. You can also change this setting so it always shows imperial or metric units on your preferences page. Further work is progressing on updating the generated payload to increase realism and accuracy.

Tour updates

We have introduced a number of new themed tours, and are working on further expanding our tour selection based on your suggestions on Discord.

The monthly tour takes you from Thailand to Guam. If you have any suggestions on tours you would like to see please let us know on Discord.

Closed airspaces

Current scheduled flight time durations may need to be amended due to longer flying times on account of closed airspace. Recent developments have included the closures of Sudanese airspace airspace for all traffic, please take these into account when planning your flight. Exceeding the listed scheduled flight time for this reason is expected and not an issue. If your flight is given a remark incorrectly please let us know via support ticket.

Please adhere to these closures when performing flights on the VA.

Airline News

Vistara, part of the Singapore Airlines and TATA group has been added to the VA. Furthermore, Skymark airlines part of the ANA group has also been added. Both provide new destinations to the VA.

Event Updates

We are working with the vACEPG initiative to co-host more VATSIM events. Please check the Events page for more details, we hope to see you there! Please let us know via Discord what kind of events you would like to see! If you have other events on online platforms that you feel are a good match to include on the VA please let us know. To receive more frequent updates please subscribe to the Event Announcements notifications on our Discord server.

Closing words

As always if you have any suggestions or questions do not hesitate to let us know.

We would also like to remind you we have a Discord server. To join it, use discord.gg/gUTREjv.

Hello Pilots,

This month's news update will highlight some development updates, as well as some VA update news.

Development Updates

We have made various improvements to the website. We have added complete cabin configurations to aircraft, including different cabin configurations within an airline subfleet. Starting today, you will be able to see the cabin configuration of your booked aircraft on the flight briefing page. Additionally, live flights will now show the route as flown rather than the great circle route. Lastly, you are now able to set the unit system (kgs, lbs) you'd like to use on your preferences page. By default, we'll use the airline's unit system. This has not been setup yet, but in the next few weeks all airlines will be updated, so you'll start seeing lbs being used by default for airlines which use lbs as their main unit.

Tour updates

We have introduced a number of new themed tours, the aircraft tours selection is also being updated.

The monthly tour takes you from Northern Europe to South East Asia. If you have any suggestions on tours you would like to see please let us know on Discord.

Event Updates

We are working with the vACEPG initiative to co-host more VATSIM events. Please check the Events page for more details, we hope to see you there! Please let us know via Discord what kind of events you would like to see! If you have other events on online platforms that you feel are a good match to include on the VA please let us know. To receive more frequent updates please subscribe to the Event Announcements notifications on our Discord server.

Closing words

As always if you have any suggestions or questions do not hesitate to let us know.

We would also like to remind you we have a Discord server. To join it, use discord.gg/gUTREjv.

Hello Pilots,

This month's news update will highlight some development updates, as well as some VA update news.

Development Updates

VAS ACARS 3.2.0 was released yesterday which includes native support for X-Plane. Instead of using XPUIPC and the FSUIPC connector, you can now install the new vasxplane plugin and use the X-Plane connector. This should be more stable and will allow us to support more operating systems in the future. It will also allow us to add support for specific aircraft natively within the plugin. For information on how to get started, please see our renewed X-Plane guide on our support website. VAS ACARS 3.2.0 also incorporated numerous other changes and improvements, for a full list please check the release notes.

In the last few weeks, we have been improving our database infrastructure. This project is now complete and has resulted in a noticeable speed-up on some pages:

Improved website response times for two pages

We have also made various other improvements to the website, such as adding the aircraft substitutions widget in a few more places, improving our map style by for example adding runway and taxiway names to the map, adding a "Flights Yesterday" statistic to our statistics page, and replacing "Boarding" by "Pre-departure" for non-passenger carrying flights on live flights. 18 more airports around the world have received airport gate information. The flight processor has been updated to support the 'Hotel' mode on the recently released Microsoft ATR airliners when VAS ACARS 3.2.0 is used. Finally, the Pilot Handbook and the Complete Guide to Flight Scoring have received updates to further clarify how flights are scored. If you have any suggestions for other improvements we can make, post them in the #suggestions channel on our Discord server or create a support ticket.

Tour updates

We have introduced a number of new themed tours, the aircraft tours selection is also being updated .

The monthly tour takes you from Scandinavia south to Ethiopia. If you have any suggestions on tours you would like to see please let us know on Discord.

Closed airspaces

Current scheduled flight time durations may need to be amended due to longer flying times on account of closed airspace. Exceeding the listed scheduled flight time for this reason is expected and not an issue. If your flight is given a remark incorrectly please let us know via support ticket.

Please adhere to these closures when performing flights on the VA. This will be the last time this is mentioned in our newspost and the pilot handbook has been rewritten for more information on this subject for future reference.

Event Updates

We are working with the vACEPG initiative to co-host more VATSIM events. Please check the Events page for more details, we hope to see you there! Please let us know via Discord what kind of events you would like to see! If you have other events on online platforms that you feel are a good match to include on the VA please let us know. To receive more frequent updates please subscribe to the Event Announcements notifications on our Discord server.

Closing words

As always if you have any suggestions or questions do not hesitate to let us know.

We would also like to remind you we have a Discord server. To join it, use discord.gg/gUTREjv.

Hello Pilots,

This month's news update will highlight some updates to the website.

Website News

The forum has been discontinued and may now be found in our Discord server. For tour suggestions, or longer format discussions we encourage you to use the forum functionality. If you haven't joined Discord yet, use discord.gg/gUTREjv to join. The flight briefing page will now show the airline call sign for reference, we are working on improving the accuracy of the displayed callsigns to take subsidiaries into account. Further airports have received gate information to further improve the information on the flight briefing page.

Tour updates

The process of refreshing our tours continues at pace. The following are the plans for the rest of the year:

  • All our ‘Aircraft Tours’ will be retired at the end of June 2023. These tours are the least popular and overlap with other tours. We will consolidate the aircraft tours into groups, e.g. turboprops, and move them into the themed tours section. Any existing awards that you have earned will remain.
  • Instead of a very long Hub tour, we will divide this into shorter tours and move them into the regional tour sections. The African and New World tours are examples with no expiry date unless there is a significant change in our hub structure. If you have flown any of these routes before, your progress will be retained, as will any awards.
  • We will introduce a new section called ‘Fly again.’ Here we will reactivate expired tours that were very popular and allow new pilots to compete. If you have flown one of these tours before, all your flight routes will be green to retain your award.
  • Lastly, monthly tours now include common legs with other tours. Overlapping tours are very popular, and we will continue doing this with new tours.

The monthly tour takes you across the South Atlantic and across Africa. If you have any suggestions on tours you would like to see please let us know on Discord.

Closed airspaces

Current scheduled flight time durations may need to be amended due to longer flying times on account of closed airspace. Exceeding the listed scheduled flight time for this reason is expected and not an issue. If your flight is given a remark incorrectly please let us know via support ticket.

You can find more information about which airspaces are closed and how the civil aviation situation is developing on this FlightRadar24 page. Please adhere to these closures when performing flights on the VA.

Event Updates

We are working with the vACEPG initiative to co-host more VATSIM events. Please check the Events page for more details, we hope to see you there! Please let us know via Discord what kind of events you would like to see! To receive more frequent updates please subscribe to the Event Announcements notifications on our Discord server.

Airline News

Several shifts and mergers are expected throughout the year, though as ever timeframes appear somewhat loose. We will do our best to follow real-world shifts in the aviation industry as they may occur, though none of the following news is final. As of writing ITA Airways is in negotiations with the Lufthansa group regarding a (partial) take-over of ITA Airways. Both the IAG group and Air France-KLM have expressed interest in a (partial) takeover of TAP Air Portugal. The planned Korean Air merger with Asiana Airlines is currently held up with multiple regulators requiring more time to investigate the planned merger. Multiple airlines including the Avianca group, LATAM group, JetSMART, Wingo and Aerolíneas Argentinas have all expressed interest in taking over VIVA Air Colombia.

Broadly we can gather there is interest in consolidation throughout the industry and we will continue following these developments.

Closing words

As always if you have any suggestions or questions do not hesitate to let us know. If you would be interested in helping improve the VA do not hesitate to send an application to join the volunteer staff team using the support ticket system.

We would also like to remind you we have a Discord server. To join it, use discord.gg/gUTREjv.

Hello Pilots,

First of all happy new year and we wish you all the best in 2023! This news update brings some minor news and development updates.

Development Updates

During this quarter we will be discontinuing the forum, as announced in our last news update. All content that is currently on the forum will be moving to Discord. If you haven't joined Discord yet, use discord.gg/gUTREjv to join.

Tour updates

The monthly tour takes you from North to South America. Tours are continually in the process of being reworked and for more updates on retiring tours please check the Event and Tours section on the homepage.

If you have any suggestions on tours you would like to see please let us know on Discord.

Closing words

As always if you have any suggestions or questions do not hesitate to let us know.

We would also like to remind you we have a Discord server. To join it, use discord.gg/gUTREjv.

Happy new Year and safe flights!

Hello Pilots,

This month's news update will highlight some changes to the website, as well as some airline update news.

Future of the forum

In the next week, we will be rolling out a new homepage layout, which includes removing the last active forum topics from the homepage. The forum generally sees low usage, and this is the first step towards discontinuing the forum. We will be fully discontinuing the forum in the first quarter of 2023. As a replacement, we will be creating one or multiple forum channels on Discord. If you haven't joined Discord yet, use discord.gg/gUTREjv to join.

Closed airspaces

Current scheduled flight time durations may need to be amended due to longer flying times on account of closed airspace. Exceeding the listed scheduled flight time for this reason is expected and not an issue. If your flight is given a remark incorrectly please let us know via support ticket.

You can find more information about which airspaces are closed and how the civil aviation situation is developing on this FlightRadar24 page. Please adhere to these closures when performing flights on the VA.

Tour updates

The monthly tour takes you from coast-to-coast in the United States of America. Tours are continually in the process of being reworked and for more updates on retiring tours please check the Event and Tours section on the homepage.

If you have any suggestions on tours you would like to see please let us know on Discord.

Event Updates

We are working with the vACEPG initiative to co-host more VATSIM events. Please check the Events page for more details, we hope to see you there! Please let us know via Discord what kind of events you would like to see! To receive more frequent updates please subscribe to the Event Announcements notifications on our Discord server.

This month's focus city is Warsaw; all flights to and from this city will provide a score bonus.

Closing words

As always if you have any suggestions or questions do not hesitate to let us know.

We would also like to remind you we have a Discord server. To join it, use discord.gg/gUTREjv.

Hello Pilots,

This month's news is on the shorter side, due to personal obligations throughout the summer period. We will be looking to expand our staff team in the coming weeks; more information regarding this will be published in a separate news post.

Airline News

Airlink will be removed at the end of September as this airline is no longer part of South African Airways. Asky airlines, a subsidiary of Ethiopian airlines has been added to the VA, and operates various short- and medium-haul routes out of Lomé.

Development Updates

For X-Plane pilots the latest ToLiss A340-600 update broke compatibility with numerous third-party programs. We have implemented a fix for this and flights performed by this aircraft should now be scored correctly. For MSFS pilots the Fenix A320 continues to experience detection issues when using the SimConnect recording mode. Switching back to FSUIPC, which requires FSUIPC7 to be installed, allows for the correct scoring of this aircraft.

A number of older awards are being reworked to improve legibility and create a more coherent style. These will be rolling out over the course of the following weeks.

Closed airspaces

Current scheduled flight time durations may need to be amended due to longer flying times on account of closed airspace. Exceeding the listed scheduled flight time for this reason is expected and not an issue. If your flight is given a remark incorrectly please let us know via support ticket.

You can find more information about which airspaces are closed and how the civil aviation situation is developing on this FlightRadar24 page. Please adhere to these closures when performing flights on the VA.

Event Updates

We are working with the vACEPG initiative to co-host more VATSIM events. Please check the Events page for more details, we hope to see you there! Please let us know via Discord and the forums what kind of events you would like to see! To receive more frequent updates please subscribe to the Event Announcements notifications on our Discord server.

This month's focus city is Vienna; all flights to and from this city will provide a score bonus.

Tour updates

The monthly tour takes you across Europe. Tours are continually in the process of being reworked and for more updates on retiring tours please check the Event and Tours section on the homepage.

If you have any suggestions on tours you would like to see please let us know in the forums.

Closing words

As always if you have any suggestions please let us know.

We would also like to remind you we have a Discord server. To join it, use discord.gg/gUTREjv.

Hello Pilots,

This month's news update will highlight number of Quality of Life updates, as well as some airline update news.

Airline News

EVA Air subsidiary UNI air has been added to the VA. Moreover, All Nippon Airways subsidiaries Air Do, Solaseed and Phillipine Airlines have been added, providing more flights into and throughout Asia. Unfortunately Mango has suspended operations and has since been removed. Following South African Airways restructuring, AirLink is no longer a subsidiary and this airline will be removed after the current Southern Africa tour has run its course.

Development Updates

Most major route and fleet updates have been completed and should provide for more accurate flights. Asia is still experiencing severe COVID restrictions and this area is not as updated as our others. We are continually working to improve our schedule accuracy throughout this region.

Over 100 airports around the globe have received gate information, providing for a more detailed experience. If you would to help collaborate on gathering gate information for airports please let us know by creating a collaboration type support ticket. We will provide a document that can be filled out and imported to help improve our coverage.

As you may have noticed, some flights are now automatically approved. Auto-flight approval is based on flight score, as well as a number of other factors, among others substitution and routing requirements.

Closed airspaces

Current scheduled flight time durations may need to be amended due to longer flying times on account of closed airspace. Exceeding the listed scheduled flight time for this reason is expected and not an issue. If your flight is given a remark incorrectly please let us know via support ticket.

You can find more information about which airspaces are closed and how the civil aviation situation is developing on this FlightRadar24 page. Please adhere to these closures when performing flights on the VA.

Event Updates

We are working with the vACEPG initiative to co-host more VATSIM events. Please check the Events page for more details, we hope to see you there! Please let us know via Discord and the forums what kind of events you would like to see! To receive more frequent updates please subscribe to the Event Announcements notifications on our Discord server.

Tour updates

The monthly tour takes you across Western Africa. Tours are continually in the process of being reworked and for more updates on retiring tours please check the Event and Tours section on the homepage. Most tours now have published end dates so be sure to check the tour description.

If you have any suggestions on tours you would like to see please let us know in the forums.

Closing words

As always if you have any suggestions please let us know.

We would also like to remind you we have a Discord server. To join it, use discord.gg/gUTREjv.