To all members,
It’s weird. It only feels like yesterday I wrote an email in 2019 summing up UK virtual over the last year. In nine years, I believe this was our most important year of operation. In the darkest of times, we are proud to support our close-knit community requiring no social distancing, masks or test and trace.
Regardless of our efforts at UK virtual, it would be nothing without our members. Thank you for bringing some fun to 2020, and we hope you will stick with us into 2021+
To this end – We invite you, once again, to pour a drink and join us as we look back at UK virtual’s year 2020.
A year in review
Back when Corona was a beer you drank with a posh lime segment – we started the year off with development of our new flight tracker, which we were pleased to release in November. Thank you to UNI1384 Chris for developing the tracker along with UNI548 Tony and our beta testers to help create the much-improved flight tracker we now use.
Lockdown affected the world, and we enjoyed daily group flights, a first for UK virtual. In April we launched the “battle of the budgets” month. In fact, April 2020 holds the record for the most flights flown by UK virtual members since we started, at 1653 flights. Only one other month this year has come close, which is December where flights currently stand at 1572!
In April we sadly lost UNI728 Graeme, our long standing member and friend. Once again our members stepped up and raised over £400 for prostate cancer UK and recently funded some flowers and gifts for his wife, Judie. Graeme will forever be remembered on our Boeing 737-800 aircraft, which wears his special decal and registration, G-UNGB.
In June we held our “flight a day” competition, taking members to all corners of the earth with new aircraft and airlines. We had our first “virtual meet up” in July, and whilst we couldn’t meet in person (or laugh at people dropping their burgers), we all enjoyed a great weekend of activities and face-to-face conversations on Discord – Next year the first round is on us, see you in Scotland!
In August our livery became visible to the virtual world for the first time on vatsim thanks to the work of UNI1914 Ali and the FLAI package. In September our new partnership with flyVFE launched where our members are able to gain discounts of Virtual Flight Experiences just by flying flyVFE flights. October we enjoyed our 9th birthday at UK virtual, and passed 50,000 logged flights!
We enjoyed the Decoration Dash in December to finish the year off! I think you will agree that against the odds, we have achieved a lot in 2020!
2020 – A year in statistics
Collectively you have logged 12,764 flights this year, an increase of 70% from 2019! That means for two years running we have achieved a 70% increase in flights, and that’s all down to you!
In 2018 we offered 118 real world airlines and 28,000 schedules. We end 2020 with 152 airlines and 38,000 schedules. This will continue to increase in 2021, and hope/trust Covid damage/recovery doesn’t cause more airlines losses along the way. Member statistics with the top five pilots in each category are as follows:
Most flights in 2020:
- UNI1713 Scott – 645 flights
- UNI1158 Brian – 572 flights
- UNI1625 Colin – 510 flights
- UNI154 Ryan – 504 flights
- UNI1776 Roger – 500 flights
Most hours in 2020:
- UNI1713 Scott – 1532 hours
- UNI154 Ryan – 1098 hours
- UNI1625 Colin – 971 hours
- UNI1868 Paul – 859 hours
- UNI1158 Brian – 819 hours
Who knows what 2021 will bring? But we all hope it will be better than 2020!
Going into 2020, ironically for me personally I finally have some real world flying and on the side some deliveries to do to keep the pennies rolling. Therefore January will see Mike and Tony as the point of contact and running group flights, events and some exciting announcements to come ! I will continue to work through the Decoration Dash prizes but for anything support wise please drop a message in via our support email or the discord channel, and I look forward to joining you back in the skies soon!
And finally, please continue to support UK virtual, we have a great team running the show every day behind the scenes – and your dedication means alot to us all. UK virtual remains here with our great community, monthly competitions, group flights, mentoring, and some tasteful banter.
All the best for 2021,
Ryan, Mike, Tony, Rob, Chris, Scott and Ali