American Virtual started off as US Airways Virtual Airlines and was initially founded by Humberto Aguin in 2004. David Athay was the organization's Chief Operations Officer, and worked to establish an Operations Manual and the initial system for accepting new pilots. The goal was to start operating immediately while the management team finished building more complex systems in the background. The fledgling US Airways Virtual Airlines experienced many obstacles along the way, as is the case with any upstart organization. Under then President Aguin's leadership, the airline accepted its first few pilots and their pilot reports. This marked the first chapter in the history of the presence of US Airways in the virtual airline arena.
In 2005, Nicholas Stutzman, a long time virtual aviation enthusiast, was considering the organization of a fictitious east coast virtual airline, Colonial America. Nick's many years of experience working with the web combined with his passion for the virtual aviation community sparked a keen interest in starting an organization of his own. He knew, however, in the back of his mind that an organization based on a real world airline would be ideal. On top of that, Nick was a huge fan of US Airways. After watching the US Airways Virtual Airlines website lay dormant for many months, Nick contacted the President and began talks centered on the details and terms of a possible acquisition of the airline.
On New Year's Day, 2006, the domain changed hands from Humberto to Nick and work began in earnest on a massive reorganization. The organization announced from its headquarters in Tempe, AZ that Humgerto Aguin was named Founder Emeritus and that Nicholas Stutzman was named President and Chief Executive Officer. President Stutzman announced five strategic imperatives for the airline's future success, but the development of the airline was reduced to a snail's pace. Working alone on the coding and site design turned out to be a monumental task, but at long last, the site was completed almost a year and a half to the day after Nick acquired the airline.
US Airways Virtual Airlines went fully operational on Sunday, June 10, 2007.
In 2009, the VA changed hands again, this time placing the organization in the capable hands of Steve Bumpus. Under Steve's leadership the VA grew in membership and activity. Creating several key corporate level offices brought about the leadership of a world class organization. Steve lead the organization for 10 years and oversaw the transition from US Airways Virtual Airlines to American Virtual in 2013. There we plans to do an overhaul of the website, user facing applications and branding however this also turned out to be a monumental task so the VA's image mostly remained unchanged. Pilot and staff activity dwindled and the overall moral was down. Steve grew the airline by leaps and bounds but time, responsibilities and life had taken priority and Steve could no longer devote the time needed to lead the VA.
In 2019, Vice President of Charlotte Operations, Sean Jackson, approached Steve with a proposal to completely overhaul the VA. Promising a simplier eye catching website with an ACARS system that automatically approves reports. It would be designed with flying in mind. Less time spent on the website and more time in the air. The auto nature of the new website would mean less staff needed to manage and it would literally run itself, giving our pilots more autonomy. Sean Jackson officially assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer of American Virtual in October of 2019. With less management of pilots needed on the new system, Sean can focus his attention on the continuing development and administrative oversight of the organization.
As history goes.. it never ends, so lets make history together.
American Virtual - Now Taking Off!