Starting off, 2020 has been quite a rollercoaster of a year. We have seen the craziness from the pandemic and elections, but in the end, we have come together stronger than ever in our virtual airline family.
A long-time member Gene Pence has decided to step down from his position within the airline, retiring from his staff duties and taking it easy as a pilot with us. Next time you see Gene, say 'hi' and wish him well in retirement! Gene has been with Southwest Virtual since the beginning and has had an extensive track record of maintaining his active status with SVA. I'd like to personally thank Gene for his service here at Southwest Virtual and wish him well!
The new Standard Operating Procedures document is now available on the website and the links can also be found on the Discord server!
LUVCARS v5 is continuing development, though has experienced delays due to real-world work-related issues prompting the delays. Ryan hopes to finish the next version of LUVCARS very soon, and I must say, it is looking very nice! I thank our community again for sending in requests and ideas for the new system and can't wait to show you what we have in store!
LUVCARS for Mac is also in the works by a fellow community member, and more information is soon to come. This software will support X-Plane on Mac, allowing our pilots to avoid manual reporting.
This year, Southwest Virtual has seen the new implementation of the Training Department, Dispatch Team, and Community Engagement Team. As we continue into the new year, we are constantly searching for further ways to improve everyone's experience at our virtual airline. Though, of course, utilization of these resources is completely optional and is not required to participate in SVA.
Activity within Southwest Virtual has reached a new record this year with, at one point, the number of active users surpassing 1,000 members. WOW! COVID-19 is to blame for the spike in activity, although the most exponential spike is seen in March, during the height of shutdowns and stay-at-home orders. We thank our pilot base for choosing Southwest Virtual as a means of enjoyment during that time.
Total Hours Flown 2019: 60,415
Total Hours Flown 2020: ~65,000
Percent Change: 107% Increase
Total Legs Flown 2019: 31,643
Total Legs Flown 2020: ~35,000
Percent Change: 110% Increase
New/Rehired Members 2019: 2181
New/Rehired Members 2020: ~2400
Percent Change: 110% Increase
A general reminder of why we are here. Southwest Virtual is here to enhance the flight simulation experience. We upload weekly schedules matching real world operations, but do not require these schedules to be flown real-time. We allow the aspect of realism to remain optional, with stipulations to this realism laid out in the SOP. We are also pleased to offer services allowing for additional learning and experience building, simulating the real-world Southwest Airlines.
Southwest Virtual operates on the premise of having fun while flying, and growing our tools such as flight-monitoring software isn't possible without continuous support from our community. We ask that you enjoy flying with us and reach out whenever you need us to assist in improving your experience here at Southwest Virtual.
The VATSIM community also thanks us for our continued support of the VATSIM network and thanks our pilots for demonstrating professionalism over the radios.
On behalf of the entire staff team, I personally would like to thank all of you for showing your continued support and LUV for our great Virtual Airline. All of you are the foundation the success of our community and keep us motivated to formulate new ideas and plans for a continued future. I again will address, if you need anything at all, don't hesitate to reach out and ask for assistance! We are a LUV'ing community and wish to remain that way! Also, join the Discord: https://discord.gg/hJXTGhc
Chief Operating Officer
Southwest Virtual Airlines