Blurring the Lines: A Professional Virtual Airline

For as long as I can remember, MetroAir’s tagline has been “Realistic. Innovative. Professional”. Not only has it been a tagline, but has served a concise mission statement for the executive team. Every decision made in MetroAir’s conference rooms are intended to be innovative and bring something new or fun to our pilots, all while being professional and realistic.

Definition of Virtual
Before going any further, I’d like to remind you of the definition of Virtual. From Merriam-Webster, “being on or simulated on a computer or computer network.”. This definition is expanded slightly to indicate that virtual is “occurring or existing primarily online” and “of, relating to, or existing with a virtual reality.” I think it’s fair to assume given that definition, the name MetroAir Virtual Airlines should convey the fact that we are not an FAA Part 121 certified airline. We don’t own any aircraft. We don’t issue paychecks… or have to worry about unions. We don’t have a fancy downtown Kansas City headquarters that we go to every day.

BWI Gate Chart
Despite being virtual, we try our hardest to actually simulate what a startup airline would have done and how it would have grown in the past 5 years. Our operations staff plan aircraft schedules down to the minute. Our aircraft are never double booked, nor are our gates at each airport we serve. You can see where each of our virtual aircraft are planned to park when they reach their destination. You can see that each aircraft we operate is accounted for with a registration number that is displayed on the schedules page. I’m sure the Operations staff would agree with me in saying that keeping track of some of this data is torture. We certainly don’t do it because it’s fun. We do it to try to stay true to that one word in our tagline, Realistic!

Sometimes though we see the word realistic taken to a whole new level and ignoring the virtual aspect of our organization. In the past, a few emails have passed across our desks that just have to make you laugh and wonder if someone we’re getting punk’d. We have received emails from people looking to be hired to be a part of our cabin crew and other jobs. They haven’t been simple emails either. They are full application packets including their résumé, photo, previous employment history and copies of their FAA certification of having completed flight attendant training. If you don’t believe me, see for yourself. I have censored some of the private information to protect the… confused.

This wasn’t the first time either. In the past we have had requests from airport officials at Burbank airport to move aircraft. I’m sure you can imagine the shock when opening up that email. I’m fairly certain that the previous CEO’s of MetroAir nor I have owned an aircraft, much less register it to a company named MetroAir Virtual. Maybe that was my opportunity and should have ran with it…. or more appropriately, flown away with it!

While it’s rare we get that type of email, when we do, it just makes us smile and remember our name, MetroAir Virtual Airlines!