March 2023 VA Update

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 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