Airline Operations


Our Tour Centre is the newest part of our airline operations. It provides pilots the opportunity to fly journeys that are made up of multiple legs, giving them a more felxible flying experience.

Perfect for those pilots who dream of flying to far off places, but can only fly for 1-2 hrs at a time. It's perfect for those who just want to try something different and fly to places they've never been to before.

Current tours available include:

Around the UK in seven legs

Island hop around the Carribean

Visit the Nordic Fjords and Mountains

Visit the highlands and the lowlands on the Scotland Tour!

Around the World Tour

Malta and the Med

Switzerland Tour

DownUnder Jet Tour

The Flybe Route Tour

Our Cargo Ops module gives those pilots who love the TNTs and FedEx's of this world, their chance to make it as a Cargo Pilot. The module creates scheduled freight flights for you to perform for one of a number of our cargo airlines.

The scheduling provides a multitude of cargo types and schedules against different airlines. You can also set your flight sim to the scheduled departure time to see if you can hit your scheduled arrival time.

If you fancy that more realistic airline pilot feeling, our Charter Ops centre is perfect. The Charter Centre Module creates a randomized series of charter flights using our various airlines. It provides pilots with a set route, with set departure and arrival times.

Test yourself against these schedules and see if you have what it takes to operate just like a charter pilot would.

Our Pilot Academy is still in its infancy, but our aim is to make this a great resource for new and experienced pilots to learn more about basic flight and more advanced techniques.

We already have tutorials on SIDs, STARS and ILS landing approach with more to come.

Our Pilot Events are an excellent facility for both staff and pilots to create and add their own events. Whether you want to do a group flight, a training flight or just simply an impromptu invite to some friends.

The Events Centre allows you to create, advertise and manage sign ups for events and it will even email pilots to remind them of your event.

New Pilot FAQ

If you have a question not answered here, there are several places you can go to get more information: the Pilot Manual, Flying for a Virtual Airline, the Message Boards, or contacting the management team. Additional questions are also answered in Viewpoint's Q & A section.

If you have a question that you feel should be included here, please email Aaron Robinson.

1) Getting Started/Joining
1.1) What is a virtual airline?
1.2) I'm new to virtual airlines. How do I get started?
1.3) What do I need to fly for you?
1.4) How do I join Global Air Alliance?
1.5) Do you have any age limits or fees?
1.6) I used to fly for Global Air Alliance. Should I file a new application?
1.7) I just submitted my application. When will it be approved?
1.8) When will I receive my pilot ID number?
1.9) Can I start flying immediately?
1.10) Can I fly for more than one of your virtual airlines?
1.11) Can I use an earlier version of Microsoft Flight Simulator?
1.12) Can I use Fly! or X-Plane instead of Microsoft Flight Simulator?
1.13) I have hours at another virtual airline. Can those be credited?
1.14) In my application I said I would continue to fly for another virtual airline, but I've changed my mind. Can all my hours be credited?
1.15) My question isn't answered here.

2) Downloading/Installing Files
2.1) Where do I find aircraft to download?
2.2) I'm having trouble installing an aircraft/panel/sound package. What do I do?
2.3) Do I need to install add-on panels and sounds in addition to aircraft?
2.4) My aircraft won't work in FSX. Why not?
2.5) Do I have to use the aircraft available on Global Air Alliance?
2.6) Why am I taken to Avsim and how do I download the aircraft?
2.7) Why don't you provide links to payware?
2.8) You don't have a certain aircraft available, so how can I fly the flight?
2.9) My question isn't answered here.

3) Selecting a Flight
3.1) How do I find flights to fly?
3.2) Can I use flight schedules found elsewhere (e.g., Flightaware or Flightstats)?
3.3) Can I fly flights for non Global Air Alliance airlines listed in a timetable program?
3.4) What codeshare flights can I fly?
3.5) How do I know what the aircraft codes refer to?
3.6) What should I do if the airport I want to fly to is not in the database?
3.7) I just arrived in Sao Paulo Guarulhos. Does my next flight need to depart from here as well?
3.8) Korean Air Flight 1 is routed Seoul Incheon-Tokyo Narita-Los Angeles. Do I need to fly both legs?
3.9) Can I fly charter flights, positioning flights, maintenance ferries, etc.?
3.10) My question isn't answered here.

4) Flying a Flight
4.1) The timetable says to depart at 0200, but I don't want to have to wake up in the middle of the night to fly.
4.2) Do I have to depart at exactly the scheduled time?
4.3) Do I fly from gate-to-gate or from runway-to-runway?
4.4) How do I know which gates to use?
4.5) Do I need to fly with online ATC ("fly online")?
4.6) I'm supposed to fly to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, but the airport isn't in the simulator.
4.7) Why don't you allow aircraft substitutions?
4.8) What should my callsign be?
4.9) Twelve hours is a long time to fly, can I accelerate the simulation rate?
4.10) Do I have to fly my flight entirely in one session?
4.11) Why do my flights tend to be early?
4.12) My flight arrived late, and I know for a fact that the same aircraft returns to the same destination. Should I depart late for this flight?
4.13) Is there a maximum number of flights/hours I can fly?
4.14) My question isn't answered here.

5) Filing PIREPs
5.1) What is a PIREP?
5.2) How do I file a PIREP?
5.3) I'm unable to log in to the Pilot Roster system.
5.4) I don't have a pilot ID number, so how can I log in to the Pilot Roster system?
5.5) Why are PIREPs filed in UTC instead of GMT?
5.6) On my flight from San Francisco to Tokyo Narita, I had to divert to Anchorage. Can I file this PIREP?
5.7) My flight from London Heathrow to Sydney needs a refuel in Singapore. Should I file one PIREP or two?
5.8) When will my PIREP be approved?
5.9) Why isn’t the roster updated as soon as I file a PIREP?
5.10) Why wasn't my PIREP approved?
5.11) I accidentally made a mistake on a PIREP I just filed. What should I do?
5.12) I flew the wrong aircraft type on my flight, and my PIREP was not approved. Can I just refile my PIREP with the right aircraft?
5.13) Do you support FS Passengers?
5.14) How do you know that I actually flew a flight?
5.15) My flight was unusually short/long. Can I still file it?
5.16) When trying to file my PIREP, the website says, "An error writing to the database has occurred. Please try again later."
5.17) My question isn't answered here.

6) Membership
6.1) I forgot my password.
6.2) I won't be able to fly for a few months. What should I do?
6.3) I'm no longer on the Pilot Roster. What do I have to do to get back on it?
6.4) Why does someone else have my pilot ID number?
6.5) Why wasn't my inactivity request approved?
6.6) My question isn't answered here.

7) Suggestions/New Ideas
7.1) What can I do to help Global Air Alliance further?
7.2) When will you add more virtual airlines?
7.3) How can I suggest a new virtual airline to add?
7.4) What about a single database of flights?
7.5) Have you considered offering any cargo airlines?
7.6) Why don't you have a rank system or require hours for certain aircraft?
7.7) Why don't you have hub pages or hub captains?
7.8) Why don't you offer a flight training program?
7.9) I have an idea not mentioned here.

1) Getting Started/Joining

1.0) This is just a SPACER.
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1.1) What is a virtual airline?
A virtual airline simulates the operations of a real airline, but with only one real component: the pilot. The pilot is given a choice of flights to fly, flies them on their flight simulator, and reports their flights. A virtual airline also acts as a community for flight simulator users worldwide.

1.2) I'm new to virtual airlines. How do I get started?
In your welcome email, there will be a number of steps to follow to get up and running. In essence, the most important things to do are, install the SmartCars Tracker, install FSUIPC4, sign up as a pilot on our website and register on our forum. Then you should be ready to fly.

1.3) What do I need to fly for you?
All you need is a flight simulator with the addons mentioned in the welcome email. We support x-plane, MSFS2004, FSX and P3D.

1.4) How do I join Global Air Alliance?
Go to our Pilot Application and complete the form. We will then aprove the application and allocate you a Pilot ID to fly with.

1.5) Do you have any age limits or fees?
Global Air Alliance does not have any age or financial requirements, although any donations received go straight to our server, tracker and other addons costs.

1.6) I used to fly for Global Air Alliance. Should I file a new application?
It depends. If you last flew for us only a few months ago then your account may still be in our current roster system. Ask us to check first, because it may just be a case of reactivating your account.

1.7) I just submitted my application. When will it be approved?
Applications are typically approved within 24 hours, although this may be later if no one is around from the admin team, or at annual holiday times.

1.8) When will I receive my pilot ID number?
You will receive your pilot ID number after your application is approved.

1.9) Can I start flying immediately?
Absolutely! If you've never flown for a virtual airline before though, we do recommend that you join us on teamspeak so we can talk you through things. Or you can watch the training lessons provided with your flight sim if applicable..

1.10) Can I fly for more than one of your virtual airlines?
Of course, that's the whole point of Global Air Alliance, you may fly for any of our virtual airlines.

1.11) Can I use an earlier version of Microsoft Flight Simulator?
You can, although you are responsible for finding the appropriate aircraft and livery. We don't list downloads for earlier versions because over 95% of our pilots use FSX or P3D.

1.12) Can I use X-Plane instead of Microsoft Flight Simulator?
You can, although you are responsible for finding the appropriate aircraft and livery.

1.13) I have hours at another virtual airline. Can those be credited?
Yes, although the amount depends on if you will continue flying for the other organization or not. If you are, then we will credit 50%; if you commit to flying solely for us, we will credit 100%. In addition, we do not credit time for flights that are not commercial or not in a transport aircraft (e.g., flight time in fighter aircraft will not be credited).

1.14) In my application I said I would continue to fly for another virtual airline, but I've changed my mind. Can all my hours be credited?
Yes, so long as you make this decision within a reasonable amount of time, as decided by us.

1.15) My question isn't answered here.
We're sorry. Please either use the contact form on our website or join us on teamspeak to ask your question.

2) Downloading/Installing Files

2.0) This is just a SPACER.
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2.1) Where do I find aircraft to download?
All aircraft are found through the Fleet page at each virtual airline. Fleet pages may be found under the Airline Operations menu.

2.2) I'm having trouble installing an aircraft/panel/sound package. What do I do?
Most downloads will include a readme file that contains instructions for installing the file. Any problems can usually be sorted through the readme, or by asking one of our team on teamspeak or the forum.

2.3) Do I need to install add-on panels and sounds in addition to aircraft?
No, all you need to install to fly for us is the appropriate aircraft. However, we do recommend using the appropriate panel and sound package for the greatest realism.

2.4) My aircraft won't work in FSX. Why not?
Most aircraft are designed for FS2004, although many of these are forward-compatible into FSX.

2.5) Do I have to use the aircraft available on Global Air Alliance?
No, you don't. If you prefer a different version of the aircraft or have a payware version, then you're free to use that. However, we do require that you fly both the appropriate aircraft type and livery.

2.6) Why am I taken to Rikoooo and how do I download the aircraft?
Rikoooo is one of the best flightsim websites for downloading aircraft, and its totally free. Most of the aircraft are downloadable as packages with readme files to help install them.

2.7) Why don't you provide links to payware?
It would be unfair for us to provide links to payware unless we were to fully test all the available options, which would be very expensive.

2.8) You don't have a certain aircraft available, so how can I fly the flight?
If an aircraft isn't available on our website, it's for one of three reasons: a) no freeware model for this aircraft type exists, b) no freeware aircraft in this livery exists, or c) we don't feel that an available aircraft is of high enough quality for us to offer. Our VA Managers are constantly active in trying to encourage freeware developers to create such aircraft. 

2.9) My question isn't answered here.
We're sorry. Please either use the contact form on our website or join us on teamspeak to ask your question.

3) Selecting a Flight

3.0) This is just a SPACER.
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3.1) How do I find flights to fly?
All flight schedules are found either through the SmartCars tracker or via the Pilot Centre schedules.

3.2) Can I use flight schedules found elsewhere (e.g., Flightaware or Flightstats)?
Yes you can use flights, routes and schedules from anywhere. If the route doesn't exist in our database, simply create it as a custom charter flight.

3.3) Can I fly flights for non-Global Air Alliance airlines?
Yes so long as they are tracked and recorded as flights for Global Air Alliance.

3.4) What codeshare flights can I fly?
We do not operate a codeshare system, due to the fact that we are an alliance with access to all routes for our airlines anyway.

3.5) How do I know what the aircraft codes refer to?
You should always look at the Fleet Specs page under Airline Operations. These give you codes and other information relevant to the aircraft and flight.

3.6) What should I do if the airport I want to fly to is not in the database?
If there is a particular airline you wish to fly for and we do not have an airport that is part of their route system, post a message on the forum and we will add it as soon as possible. Alternatively, if there is just an airport you enjoy flying to that is not part of an airline's routes and not on our system, we'll be happy to add this for you.

3.7) I just arrived in London Heathrow. Does my next flight need to depart from here as well?
No, it doesn't, although many pilots like to do so. You don't have to depart from nearby airports either, your next flight could depart from John F Kennedy International, or from the opposite side of the world!

3.8) Do you operate tour flights?
Not at the moment but this is something we plan to add in the near future.

3.9) Can I fly charter flights, positioning flights, maintenance ferries, etc?
Yes, we accept PIREPs for any style of flight as long as the route is tracked through SmartCars or proof can be shown such as a screenshot from Vatsim.

3.10) My question isn't answered here.
We're sorry. Please either use the contact form on our website or join us on teamspeak to ask your question.

4) Flying a Flight

4.0) This is just a SPACER.
This answer is a spacer so that the first and subsequent answers to questions clear the fixed header at the top of the page.

4.1) The schedule says to depart at 0200, but I don't want to have to wake up in the middle of the night to fly.
You don't have to. The only time that has to be the same as the schedule is the time in the simulator.

4.2) Do I have to depart at exactly the scheduled time?
No, but you do have to fly according to the schedule. You should try to depart at the scheduled time, but leaving a few minutes early or late is fine (ten minutes is a good rule of thumb). If departing more than a few minutes late, it's a good idea to include comments in your PIREP to explain why.

4.3) Do I fly from gate-to-gate or from runway-to-runway?
As we simulate real airline operations, all flights and flight schedules are times between the departure gate and arrival gate.

4.4) How do I know which gates to use?
We have terminal maps for many of the major destinations we serve, with more being added all the time. These are found on the hubs page under airline operations. If your airport doesn't have a map, you could certainly try getting information from the airport's website.

4.5) Do I need to fly with online ATC ('fly online')?
No, but we certainly encourage it.

4.6) The airport I am flying to doesn't look like the airport chart.
Some airports we serve have either closed in real life or changed significantly after the simulator was released. Just do the best you can using the charts.

4.7) Can I substitute my aircraft from the one allocated in the route?
Yes we recognize that aircraft substitutions occur in real life on a regular basis.

4.8) What should my callsign be?
Your callsign should be the airline's callsign followed by the flight number. Airline callsigns are located on the Flights page at each virtual airline. For example, British Airways flight 9 would be "Speedbird 9".

4.9) Twelve hours is a long time to fly, can I accelerate the simulation rate?
No, we do not allow pilots to use time acceleration. However, we do allow "pause at top of descent" to be used.

4.10) Do I have to fly my flight entirely in one session?
No, you may pause or save your flight while in progress and resume it at a later time.

4.11) Why do my flights tend to be early?
There are a few possible reasons: a) you likely aren't facing the same amount of traffic congestion on the ground and in the skies as in real life, b) you may be flying a more direct route between airports than is flown in real life, and c) you may be flying at the specifications' cruise speed, most airlines will fly slower to conserve fuel.

4.12) My flight arrived late, and I know for a fact that the same aircraft returns to the same destination. Should I depart late for this flight?
Yes, you should allow a reasonable amount of turn time for the aircraft before departing again.

4.13) Is there a maximum number of flights/hours I can fly?
No, there is not. In perspective though, FAA regulations allow a commercial pilot to fly no more than 8 hours on one flight, 30 hours in a seven-day period, 100 hours in a calendar month, and 1000 hours in a calendar year.

4.14) My question isn't answered here.
We're sorry. Please either use the contact form on our website or join us on teamspeak to ask your question.

5) Filing PIREPs

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5.1) What is a PIREP?
A PIREP is a Pilot Report. You file PIREPs after you complete your flight to receive credit for your flight and have it added to your Global Air Alliance logbook.

5.2) How do I file a PIREP?
The PIREP can be filed automatically from Smartcars and most other trackers. You can also submit manual pireps but no more than 1 per day.

5.3) I'm unable to log in to the Pilot Roster system.
Please check the following and try to log in again.
1) Check that cookies are enabled in your browser.
2) Delete any existing cookies in your browser from Global Air Alliance. (If you don't know how to clear specific ones, you may need to delete all your cookies.)
3) Check your computer's firewall settings.
4) Try a different browser.
5) Try a different computer.
If you're still unable to log in, please contact a member of the admin team and let them know what steps you tried and what browser and version you're using. Please also describe the problem (i.e., not "I'm unable to log in", describe what exactly happened).

5.4) I don't have a pilot ID number, so how can I log in to the Pilot Roster system?
You don't need a pilot ID number, you log in using the email address you registered with.

5.5) Why are PIREPs filed in UTC time instead of GMT?
UTC is an international time code and we operate many international airlines.

5.6) On my flight from San Francisco to Tokyo Narita, I had to divert to Anchorage. Can I file this PIREP?
We will only accept PIREPs that have a completed flight. When safe, you should continue on to Tokyo Narita. You would file your PIREP as San Francisco-Tokyo Narita, and indicate in the comments that you diverted to Anchorage, why, and how long you stopped (brakes on to brakes off) in Anchorage.

5.7) My flight from London Heathrow to Sydney needs a refuel in Singapore. Should I file one PIREP or two?
You should file one PIREP for the entire flight and indicate that you made a stopover for fuel.

5.8) When will my PIREP be approved?
PIREPs are typically approved within 24 hours, although this may be later if no admin is available. Our goal is to approve PIREPs 365 days of the year.

5.9) Why isn't the roster updated as soon as I file a PIREP?
We believe that pilots deserve individual attention in all aspects of our operations, including the most important part, their flights. Therefore, we check to be sure a PIREP is valid before approving it.

5.10) Why wasn't my PIREP approved?
If a PIREP isn't approved, you will receive an email that includes the reason the PIREP wasn't approved. If you don't understand the reason, please reply to the email and be sure to include the PIREP in the reply.

5.11) I accidentally made a mistake on a PIREP I just filed. What should I do?
Please immediately file a new PIREP and note in the comments that you're filing a corrected version. We'll delete the incorrect version for you.

5.12) I flew the wrong aircraft type on my flight, and my PIREP was not approved. Can I just refile my PIREP with the right aircraft?
No, you can't. The PIREP should reflect what was actually flown, not what was supposed to be flown.

5.13) Do you support PIREPs through FsPassengers?
Not at the moment, but me may well set it up in the future if there is enough interest.

5.14) How do you know that I actually flew a flight?
All flights should be recorded using the tracker. Manual pireps should only be used as a last resort and infrequently.

5.15) My flight was unusually short/long. Can I still file it?
You can, but you should be able to explain why.

5.16) When trying to file my PIREP, the website says, "An error writing to the database has occured. Please try again later."
This can be for a number of reasons but is usually because the system is under maintenance or our VPS is offline temporarily. Wait a while and try again. If the problem persists, then please contact an admin.

5.17) My question isn't answered here.
We're sorry. Please either use the contact form on our website or join us on teamspeak to ask your question.

6) Membership

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6.1) I forgot my password.
You can request a new password through the system or via an admin.

6.2) I won't be able to fly for a few months. What should I do?
Please file for inactivity through the Control Panel, you may request a leave for up to twelve months. If you haven't flown a flight for us, you can't file for inactivity, please just file your first PIREP when you're able to.

6.3) I'm no longer on the Pilot Roster. What do I have to do to get back on it?
Please just file a PIREP and you'll be added back to the roster.

6.4) Why does someone else have my pilot ID number?
Duplicate pilot ID numbers sometimes happen if a previous member had used that ID number and has been added back to the roster. At the beginning of each month, ID numbers are reassigned, whoever was most recently using the number keeps it.

6.5) Why wasn't my inactivity request approved?
Inactivity requests should be filed when you'll be unable to file a PIREP for that month or longer. If you filed a PIREP for January and then request to be inactive until February, we won't approve your request.

6.6) My question isn't answered here.
We're sorry. Please either use the contact form on our website or join us on teamspeak to ask your question.

7) Suggestions/New Ideas

7.0) This is just a SPACER.
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7.1) What can I do to help Global Air Alliance further?
First of all, thank you! There are two ways that pilots can step forward to do even more for Global Air Alliance. You can make a donation to Global Air Alliance to help cover our operating costs (but this is purely optional and at your discretion with no pressure), and the second is by becoming a member of the admin team. Joining the admin is not an easy thing to achieve as we expect a lot from our staff. As a minimum you cannont become and admin for at least 3 months from your starting date (unless specifically requested by us) and you must have shown committment above and beyond just flying for us.

7.2) When will you add more virtual airlines?
We add new virtual airlines only when we have sufficient staff to cover our current virtual airlines.

7.3) How can I suggest a new virtual airline to add?
Any new airlines, routes or fleet need to be communicated in the relevant section of our forum.

7.4) What about a single database of flights?
Our airline routes are accessible to all of our airlines through a single database.

7.5) Have you considered offering any cargo airlines?
We do have cargo airlines within our system for you to fly.

7.6) How do I achieve higher ranks?
In essence, the more hours you fly, the greater your rank becomes.

7.7) What are the Airline Managers?
The airline managers take a specific responsibility for managing the routes, fleet and airports relating to an airline.

7.8) What is the Flight Academy?
The flight academy is our training area, for providing pilots with knowledge and resources to improve their flying skills.

7.9) I have an idea not mentioned here.
Great! We'd love to hear it. Please raise it through the forum. Our admin team are very busy and just telling them about it could result in it getting missed or forgotten about.

1335
# of Flights
957
# of Routes
2325
Miles Flown
73
Pilots