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Our Priority Is You

Dear VAC Members,

The world has dramatically changed in ways never imagined with the COVID-19 pandemic. But through it all, we have witnessed bravery, teamwork, love, compassion and care for each other across this great country we call home - Canada. Our deepest appreciation and respect for the amazing health care professionals and other essential front line support teams who are ensuring the safety and wellbeing of every citizen. A special thank you to our real world aviation colleagues working hard in challenging times ensuring passengers are flying home safely to their families.

The unknown path ahead of us is indeed scary and frightening at times. But we have all supported one another through global challenges in the past and know together we will all rise stronger than ever. We should be proud of what we have accomplished in the last two decades as Canada's national virtual carrier. It has been a remarkable transformation at VAC because of you and our global family.

VAC is committed to mirroring its daily operations based on real world schedules, equipment and routes. This has been our mission since our establishment in April 1998. Effective immediately, we are going to be temporarily changing our position.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, we have continuously updated our schedules to reflect the changing Government Travel Restrictions. An upcoming schedule update effective April 1, 2020 sees 41 domestic, 77 U.S. transborder and 128 international route suspensions. This would result in the domestic network being reduced from 62 airports to 40, the U.S. transborder network from 53 airports to 13 and the international network from 101 airports to 6. All remaining routes would have significant frequency reductions.

With our members spending more time at home, we have seen the number of completed flights climb steadily in the past week and believe it will continue to do so while we all practice preventative measures for combating this coronavirus. For this reason, it does not make sense to limit the amount of flights available for bid.

As such, the VAC Executive Team has decided to continue to operate the schedule as it was prior to January 29th. Therefore, we will not be applying this update to our schedule and all scheduled flights will continue to operate normally. For those members who want to simulate the realism, we invite you to use online tools to find flights that are operating and then bid them in myVAC.

We will continue to provide updates as the situation evolves.

You can continue to request ad-hoc flights either via email at scheduling@vacanada.org or on discord in #crew-sked-requests.

In the meantime, we advise all members to follow guidelines outlined from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Government of Canada. Canadians should continue to think ahead about the actions that they can take to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Canada, including:

- being prepared in case you or a family member become ill
- following the latest travel advice from federal and provincial public health leaders
- avoiding all non-essential travel, including cruise ships
- self-isolating, and monitoring for symptoms (cough, fever, difficulty breathing) for 14 days if you have travelled outside of Canada
- reducing contact with others by following the guidance for self-monitoring, self-isolating, or isolating
- practicing social distancing and proper hygiene
- wearing masks, if necessary

Our disciplined approach to a strong foundation on virtual airline operations at VAC has allowed us to continue delivering exceptional service excellence to you during this challenging period. We will ensure your flight simulation experience is maintained and new projects that are in development are fast tracked and delivered to you over the next few weeks.

Be safe and clear skies,