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Lionwing

Airwego...returning to the skies....

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Airwego is a UK based Virtual Airline originally formed in 2000.

 

Our schedules see Airwego aircraft fly to destinations in both the UK and Europe from bases at Humberside and Bristol Airports. By some standards we are a small virtual airline in terms of the number of aircraft we operate and the number of destinations we fly to but...we are big in experience terms with a management team with over thirty years of Flight Simulation & Virtual Airline experience!

 

Over this time we have come to appreciate that there are many types of virtual aviator of varying skills levels, time available to dedicate to the hobby and a infinite number of hardware and software combinations. However they all have one thing on common and that is to enjoy the hobby and have fun!.

 

...and fun we have had in our past...

 

Airwego opened for virtual operations in March 2000. Planning and designing the virtual airline had started a few months earlier.
 
While the name “Airwego” may sound strange at first it came about during a late night conversation between Ian and Richard. After several hours of brain-storming on several topics the subject of the what to call the new virtual airline came around. There we several suggestions from Lionwing Airways, Air Chester until Ian’s quizzed his daughter on the topic and the reply came back “Here we go" which very quickly morphed into Airwego! With this important piece of the planning in place a website and fleet livery could be designed!
 
In 2000 web designing technology was far less sophisticated than it was to become. Automated flight reporting, fancy gizmo’s showing who was on-line or on-line voice communications…no…none of that. A counter showing how many visits to the page was pretty much the top of the tree in terms of website design!
 
website-old.png purple-ronnie.png
 
A early version of the website and the infamous 737 - "Purple Ronnie".
 
But gizmo’s and fancy websites don’t make a virtual airline…the pilots do! So with a management team of three and a handful of pilots, who had left the global “we fly every aircraft ever made aren't we grand” airline, to stick with Richard, Ian & Bernie Airwego opened it’s doors and took off on a grand adventure in the virtual skies!
 
The original policy of Airwego was to be a relatively simple operation with a sensible aircraft fleet and interesting list of destinations. Manchester Airport was the principle base but flights also operated from Liverpool and Humberside Airport. Destinations in the UK and Europe featured using Boeing B737’s, Airbus A320 & ATR42’s but with the expansion of the management team to include the legendary Steve “it wasn't me” Chase and Danny “where’s the runway” Cleavely the resources were in place to make Airwego more dynamic and unique.
 
Steve’s passion was helicopter’s. With a day job as a helicopter engineer at Humberside airport he was in a very envious position which gave him a great insight into the daily operations of a airport and more importantly one that service the gas and oil fields located in the North Sea. With this in mind Steve was tasked with creating a scenery package for Humberside and also with replicating helicopter operations in the virtual world for the benefit of those virtual aviators who wanted their wings to rotate! Steve duly delivered a superb scenery for the airport and a virtual rotary operation that was supported with excellent repaints, detailed missions & schedules and program of constant development. Can you guess what we called it….VertiGo!
 
humberside.png   vertigo-0ld.png
 
The 2002 version of Steve's Humberside Scenery. An early version of the VertiGo logo.
 
By early 2001 the management team of Airwego was settled with Richard taking the role of CEO (so pompous) Ian looking after the Aircraft Fleet (also assisted by a young creative chap called Adam), Danny dealing with new recruits and publishing press releases, Steve running VertiGo and a very smart fellow by the name of Chris Dale looking after Flight Operations.
 
Alongside the introduction of VertiGo the fixed wing operations of Airwego also moved forward over the next couple of years with the introduction of long haul flights (and the 747), a special holiday charter livery called Sunspots, AWG Shuttle flying out of Humberside to small UK regional airports, a small Caribbean “retro” operation that flew the DC3, DC8 & Twin Otters and for a short period of time a small cargo division called..AirWeCarGo!
 
awga321-old.png   awg727car-old.png
 
a310-f-old.png   awgb747.jpg
 
awgb1900.jpg
 
The divisions of AirweGo.
 
Despite the expanding operations the management team always kept the pilots point of view in mind when making any decisions with these decisions often taken at the Annual General Meeting – the AGM. The AGM was the opportunity for the management to meet up somewhere in the UK for a weekend and spend several hours of a Saturday afternoon discussing Airwego and deciding on what was working and what was not. A lot of progress was made in these meetings usually motivated by the fact that a night out had been planned on the back of it which would involve a meal and a few drinks. The following day would involve a aviation focused activity with notable tours around Humberside Airport, a few hours at Duxford Air Museum and aircraft spotting at Birmingham Airport.
 
Times change and Airwego did. More depth was added to the operation with ready made flight-plans available, the Airwego Schedules recreated in Flight Simulator as AI traffic, the livery was updated, some automation of the daily flight reports and also personnel changes. Derek Jones joined the team after Danny moved on after several years of loyal service as did Richard with the expansion of his family. Ian assumed the reins of Airwego and continued to guide it very professionally for several years but the demands of the virtual aviator changed and newer, slicker virtual airlines appeared that slowly eroded away at the pilot bases of long established virtual airlines. Tragedy struck when Steve passed away which inevitably saw the closure of VertiGo.
 
Airwego carried on until 2013 when through a combination of events the management team could no longer sustain the operation.
 
Danny & Richard had remained friends after leaving Airwego and flew together with several virtual airlines but never quite felt the old magic. A conversation and the discovery that Brian Mason (ex Airwego pilot and now operator of Channel Express Virtual Airline) and preserved what remained of Airwego from 2013 sparked a idea that perhaps Airwego could be restarted with Danny & Richard at the helm. Brian was very supportive of the idea and assisted with repainting aircraft and using his contacts in development of the website. In the background Danny & Richard began to prepare for launching Airwego in the Autumn of 2014.
 
So here we are.
 
We have tasked ourselves with making being part of a Airwego as fun and enjoyable as possible!
 
Please visit our website, Facebook or Twitter pages for more information.
 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

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