A Guide to Create a New Virtual Airline

Hello! This is a simple guide to help you create a successful virtual airline. You’ll come to find, that with a little time and effort you can create a great virtual airline. This post will give you the simple steps to create your airline as well as some tips on actually creating it.


Steps to creating your realistic VA

Step 1: The idea
Every great VA has to start off somewhere! Come up with an interesting idea that you and the rest of the community would be genuinely interested in - this should be something a little different, and should be unique and original. Whether you’re recreating an existing airline or making a new one, the possibilities are endless for making your VA stand out! Before working on a VA, it is a good idea to check with the IFVARB that you are an eligible candidate and that the VA in question is available - this is where you need to research the IFVARB process and ask your administrator any questions you have regarding it. Making a VA just for the sake of doing so and being able to hold the title of CEO is a bad idea - there should be a genuine meaning and purpose behind it.

Step 2: Media

For a successful VA, you need quality branding and multimedia. This could/should consist of;

  • A detailed, graphic, and easily navigable quality website detailing your fleet, routes, ranking system, and leadership team.
  • A unique and eye catching logo
  • A catchy but professional slogan
  • A quality, detailed mission statement - this could be handily used in the first step of the IFVARB Application process.
  • A gallery of quality photos pertaining to your VA, and a professional style trailer video as an incentive for users to join your VA - there are many community services that provide this.

Step 3: Contact
Contact one of the IFVARB administrators: @iceblue or @Joshfly8 with your website and any other material via PM. You should have also contacted some of your forum buddies to fill some staff positions (COO, CTO, etc.) before this step. Your VA will be reviewed, and you will receive feedback shortly after.

Step 4: Forum post
Create a detailed post outlining the aspects of your VA of which you are most proud. Make sure it is easy to read and in designated sections so people aren’t scanning through a large paragraph. Multimedia and professional graphics can really help to incentivize users to join your VA. The “hide details” and “spoilers” features on this forum can come in very handy when creating your VAs forum post.


Steps to creating your casual VA

Step 1: The idea
Every great VA has to start off somewhere! Come up with an interesting idea that you and the rest of the community would be genuinely interested in - this should be something a little different, and should be unique and original. Whether you’re recreating an existing airline or making a new one, the possibilities are endless for making your VA stand out! Before working on a VA, it is a good idea to check with the IFVARB that you are an eligible candidate and that the VA in question is available. Making a VA just for the sake of doing so and being able to hold the title of CEO is a bad idea - there should be a genuine meaning and purpose behind it.

Step 2: Mission statement
Create a short mission statement outlining your VA goals. It should tell the administrator why you’ve created the VA and your future goals for it. No need to make it difficult, as long as it’s clear and worded aptly, your mission statement will easily be certified!

Step 3: Forum post
Create a detailed post outlining the aspects of your VA of which you are most proud. Make sure it is easy to read and in designated sections so people aren’t scanning through a large paragraph. Multimedia and professional graphics can really help to incentivize users to join your VA. The “hide details” and “spoilers” features on this forum can come in very handy when creating your VAs forum post.


Now on to some tips to make your VA the best around…


Website

Create something unique that will make people inclined to join! Most people don’t want to join a plain VA with just some aircraft and routes. They want to see something interesting, like the rewards programs in some VAs today.

Simple, but sophisticated. Make sure your website is simple to navigate, but looks sophisticated. Don’t have too many pages, it gets the be a pain to navigate. Have a few pages, but really make them look nice. Make sure all of the sections are defined and look clean. Make the website really visual – I know from experience that people don’t like reading long paragraphs. If you make detailed bullets, people are more inclined to read it.

One of the best VA websites would be Qantas Virtual’s. It follows the “simple, but sophisticated” rule very well and is easy to navigate while still maintaining a standard of professionalism.


Logos and Branding

Logos
Logos should follow the same rule of thumb as the website: simple but sophisticated. It should be easily recognizable and distinguishable against other VA logos. It should be clean and sophisticated and work in the main colors and branding of the airline. Your logo is the representation of your entire VA in a picture. Make sure you put some time and effort into it!

Branding
Make sure you send the message that your VA is active on the IFC. Hold recruitment events and partner with other VAs or join an alliance (see more about that below). Your brand should be unique and should send a message of professionalism throughout the community. It should be easily recognizable that this is VA X’s brand.

One of the best VA brands is Lufthansa Virtual – with custom graphics to marvel nearly anyone, and an amazing website to boot, Lufthansa has done an excellent job branding its VA.


Partnerships and Alliances

Many VAs today are partners or are in alliances. These are a great way to gain positive reputation, new pilots and add some realism to the VA community. SkyHub Alliance and Star Alliance are two virtual alliances that are around today. Some VAs have also partnered with others by holding group events to hold a greater network of connections and to increase their community presence. #GreatMates (American Virtual and Qantas Virtual) is an example of a good VA partnership.


Thread

When making your thread, make sure it is organized and easy to follow. Break it up into different sections, each displaying one aspect of your airline. Do not make it one long paragraph. Make your VA look appealing to join, you’ve got certification for a reason!

One of the best VA threads is British Airways Virtual – it’s very easy to navigate with the easy menu and is updated regularly. Click [here] (British Airways Virtual Airline) for a link to their thread.

Note that you should be posting any threads without the prior permission of IFVARB.


Internal Running of the VA

A solid and reasonably sized leadership team is essential. For a VA only just starting up, a team of 3-4 staff members max is usually sufficient - this shouldn’t change much to provide stability, and should consist of respected and professional members who will be active and truly in it for the long run. You may wish to assign non-staff roles such as Chief Pilot, Head Of Recruitment, Flight Logger etc.

Slack is a good team working app to help keep your VA organised. This allows you to create separate (private) channels for certain projects and teams within your VA.

Holding regular internal and external events, along with other similar actions, can help you establish your place in the community and appear active. Senior IFVARB members often attend events held on the Expert Server.

You should be sure to also establish some ground rules, making clear to all members that everyone is to be equally respected and treated accordingly. With any cases of trolling or abuse, the user responsible should be removed and reported to IFVARB. The atmosphere within your VA should be a safe and friendly one that is 100% child friendly.

One of the best VA atmosphere’s could be [Southwest Virtual] (http://swvirtualif.weebly.com). The staff and pilots alway seem content and are given a lot of freedom over there. In addition, they were the pioneers of an integrated booking system within the VA community.


So if you follow these simple steps, your VA will most certainly get approved by IFVARB and will have a lasting legacy on the community.

Happy landings!


IFVARB Info
Current Active VAs
How IFVARB Operates
IFVARB Community Feedback Response

46 Likes

Wow, this was very nice of you for creating a whole topic on helping people how to start up a VA! Bravo.

7 Likes

Well, people and future CEOs, dont go for cheap copies and define yourself with your VA. Thats probably the most important thing to know, also, a VA isnt top notch on day one, noone is born with experience leading a VA.
Something that is not mentioned on the post above : You need resources to lead a VA, especially a lot of TIME. If you wanna achieve something big, calculate with 2 to 8 hours daily.

ovsp, AeroSync

8 Likes

Wow, this is a very much needed thread… Well done!

4 Likes

There’s a big difference between 2 hours of dedication per day and 8 hours but kudos to the OP and all of the VA bosses out there. My hat is off to you guys and girls.

4 Likes

Thankyou! Exactly what my team and I need to finish of the final steps to our upcoming VA cough cough

4 Likes

Air New Zealand coming soon?

2 Likes

Just polishing it up

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I think a lot of current virtual airlines need to take notes as well as new ones. Admittedly, my virtual airline failed. It takes a lot of hard work to keep one afloat. My problem was a lack of users. No one really wanted to join, and it backfired pretty quickly. I really recommend getting all your ducks in a row first before announcing your virtual airline. Really take time and develop an appealing website that will leave a good impression on someone who may want to join. Also, presenting yourself well beyond the VA is essential. Be friendly and helpful, not overly sarcastic or rude. Just some advice from a former VA creator. Hats off to those who are actively engaged in their VAs. I don’t know how you guys keep up with it!

4 Likes

This will be very helpful to new VA founders! Nice work guys!

Excellent post, @BluePanda900. Thank you for taking the time to write and organize these insights. It’s great to see many IF VAs thriving! The Air France-KLM Virtual Group team would like to invite you (and anyone else who is interested in flying with or joining professional, friendly VA pilots) to join us for the launch of our new monthly series “Destination Saturdays,” which kicks off in Paris this weekend 152000ZJUL17. Event details and RSVP instructions available here: [Closed] Destination Saturdays: Paris | presented by AF-KLM VA @ LFPG - 152000ZJUL17

See you in the skies!

3 Likes

Great guide by the whole IFVARB team. This should definitely help improve the quality of new VA’s joining.

3 Likes

The maint point is be original. Do something that you know other virtual airlines wont offer, dont do the exact same thing because you will be the same airline flying under different banners… Make something different up, be original! Want members, they will only come if you did something other VA’s have not done. As they know you have more in the plate compared to other virtual airlines.
Great topic IFVARB, Great topic.

3 Likes

It will, and we hope to see an increase of good quality VAs from this post.

1 Like

I am not sure if this is the right category to ask this so I’ll apologize in advance. I know the premise of the virtual airline is to be the reflection of its actual counterpart. But has there been any consideration of a Virtual Air Force VAF database? A place where non-ccommercial pilots could register their Air Force, wing, Unit or Squadron under. I know not everyone flies the military aircraft in IF but the same can be said for commercial airlines as well. Anyway just a thought I’d be happy to expand on this idea.

Thanks for your time

V/R

Andrew

1 Like

You could create this VA. It’s a very good idea! I believe we already have a coast guard VA. I’d love to see an Air Force one as well.

1 Like

I believe an Air Force VA has just been approved but not announced yet.

True but we would not be talking about a VA "Virtual Airlines as the Air Force or Military org is not an airline 😉. We would be talking about a separate org from the VAs a VAF. Coast gaurd, Navy or any other Air power could register under virtual Air Forces. This would be a community were orgs could communicate and form partnerships or hold exercise together, challenge eachother “friendly and civilized of course.” It’s weighed on me alot as airlines have a dedicated comunituy of VA’s why not give VAF’s the same? Again just a thought.

2 Likes