Welcome to British Airways Virtual’s Year in Review for 2018.
What a Year it’s been! From meeting members at Flight Sim Show 2018 in the Hangar at RAF Cosford, to holding some huge events and even our very own Friday Night Flight, 2018 has been a year of record breaking, and certainly a one to remember fondly for BAVA. We have gained new aircraft, new pilots, new staff, new resources and had a whole lot of fun in what has been an amazing year for both BAVA and Infinite Flight. Our route network has grown exponentially, our horizons widened. Let’s take a look at some of our achievements, highlights and facts for the year of 2018…
“I cannot tell you how immensely proud I am of how much our community has grown this year. Every time I fly out of our London Hubs on the Live Servers, I always see another BAVA member, and wish them well. No matter what time of day, what day it is, there will always be a BAVA member in the skies of Infinite Flight. This is an astounding feat that I’m not sure any other VA can lay claim to.”
Adam Williams, Deputy President
A Huge Increase in Operations
This last year has been BAVA’s busiest year ever, with over 10,000 flights flown, and many more logged! Between the current 273 Pilots we have, we have managed to fly 10,601 flights throughout the year, which span the entire globe. We couldn’t have done this without our amazing pilots:
“When asked what makes BAVA so good and what our secret is, I often reply saying that it’s our pilots. Without them we’d be nowhere near where we are today.”
Matt Elphick, President
We currently within our slack group have 276 members, and each and every one of them makes BAVA what it is today – a funny, friendly and welcoming place for all people from all walks of life to come together under one common love of Infinite Flight and Aviation.
The British Airways Virtual route database is ever expanding. In May, we released the first of our codeshare routes, and have continued to release these ever since. Our initial releases were for Aer Lingus, Iberia, and Vueling. Since then we have gone on to add many many more, ranging from Qatar Airways to Alaskan Airlines, bringing our total Codeshare Route count to 1,065 routes. These have further expanded our pilot’s horizons and allowed BAVA to reach every major city in every continent on earth, other than Antarctica – although when BA start flying there, we will too!
British Airways has also released many new routes this year, stretching to places as exotic as Durban, and new routes were realised when we gained new aircraft, such as the Maersk Air CRJ-700 in the British Airways Livery.
This year has been extremely successful for Infinite Flight LLC, with six awe-inspiring updates for its users to delve into. With the long-awaited release of the British Airways Maersk Air CRJ-700 in May, we immediately added this aircraft to our fleet, offering short-haul routes to and from Birmingham, where Maersk Air UK operated until 2003. There came a surprise with the British Airways liveries added to the Airbus A320 and A321 in the Summer, and the beautiful Comair Boeing 737-800 was released in December. Comair operates flights in and around South Africa as a subsidiary of British Airways.
A Whole Lot of Events!
An aspect of a VA that British Airways Virtual prides itself on is its events. Overall, we have held and taken part in over 14 community-wide events this year, and have hosted countless amounts of internal events, often with a frequency of three per week. Whether it was the Core-Six Event, our Flights to Formula One, the two IFVARB Summits we attended in masses, or our “Comair Celebration” to round things off, we have strived to deliver the most varied and engaging community events on the Infinite Flight Community in 2018, and will continue to do so in the future.
We have also formed many partnerships with different virtual organisations this year, in particular Infinite Flight Aviation Experts and Global Air Forces, with an events and route partnership now in full force. We have agreed to host a joint event every 60 days, and every single one of these events so far has resulted in a large line of aircraft waiting for departure!
The OneWorld Virtual Alliance was also formed this year, a collaboration between American Virtual and British Airways VA. OneWorld Virtual now has four member virtual airlines. Our first partnered event for OneWorld Virtual in collaboration with IFAE was a huge success, and even featured on Infinite Flight CEO, Laura Laban’s Instagram.
Celebrating Two Years of BAVA
November saw BAVA turn two, and to celebrate, we had our very own Friday Night Flight! Based at London Heathrow, this FNF saw BAVA fill Heathrow almost to maximum capacity as we set off on a joint flight with Singapore Virtual to Singapore. Delays of up to two hours were experienced as Pilots and ATC struggled to comprehend the sheer volume of traffic.
We also celebrated with a “BAVA Day” the day after, with a series of events, an open recruitment day, and a tonne more. We even drew the British Airways Speedmarque logo in the Skies of Infinite Flight! 121 Pilot Reports were filed over the two days of activities, and all involved had masses of fun. We’d like to personally thank all ATC controllers, Pilots and Community Members who took part in the multitude of events and celebrations.
British Airways Virtual is a huge community, with members worldwide. BAVA hosted two official BAVA meet ups this year, where pilots, staff and even some Infinite Flight Staff met up and got to know each other outside of the realm of the Flight Simulator.
In July, BAVA members met up at the famous plane spotting location of Myrtle Avenue, with some special guest visitors also in attendance. You can read more about this here.
We also met with other BAVA members and the wider Infinite Flight Community in October, when we attended the Flight Sim Show at RAF Cosford. We all had a great time and got to forge friendships out of our shared passions for both aviation and BAVA.
Wow, it’s amazing what can be achieved in a year! On behalf of the Senior Leadership at BAVA, we would like to thank all BAVA Pilots, BAVA Staff Members, the Infinite Flight Community and Infinite Flight Staff for all their support over the last year, and here’s to a happy and fulfilled 2019!
British Airways Virtual Airline 2018