Joining SunWest

Thank you for your interest in joining SunWest Airlines! Before filling out an application, please make sure you've taken the time to read through our pilot handbook as well as our privacy policy. Below, you will find important information that should be fully understood before applying.


  • Is SunWest a "sign-up and fly" virtual airline?

    No. You can think of SunWest as less of a virtual airline and more an airline career simulator. We were founded to give those who perhaps aren't involved in a commercial aviation career a taste of what the real thing is like, and as such, we do require operational training before you can begin flying. That said, we do our best to keep the training manageable, engaging, and achieveable to pilots of all skill levels.

  • What is a flight simulator? What is a virtual airline?

    A flight simulator is a device that artificially re-creates aircraft flight and the environment in which it flies, in this case, for the sake of entertainment. Popular flight simulators include: Lockheed Martin Prepar3D, X-Plane 11, and Microsoft Flight Simulator X. At the time, we only offer support for Prepar3D v4 & Prepar3D v5.

    A virtual airline is an online organization which joins a community of like-minded enthusiasts together in one place, with the goal of creating a realistic and enjoyable experience.

  • What aircraft does SunWest operate?

    SunWest operates a fleet of Boeing 737-700/800/900/900ER aircraft. Support for the following add-on aircraft is availabe: PMDG NGXu (base package and expansions).

  • What sort of rank system does SunWest use?

    SunWest uses the rank structure of a typical airline: first officer and captain. While anyone is free to join as a first officer, the captain rank is reserved for only the most experienced pilots who have verifiable experience. After a certain number of milestones, first officers will become eligible to upgrade to captain.

  • How often do I need to submit a PIREP?

    You are required to submit one PIREP every 30 days in order to stay active. If the 30 day period has elapsed, you will revert to inactive status for 30 days or until your next PIREP is filed. If no PIREP is filed during the 30 day inactive period, you will be removed from the airline.

  • Can I transfer my hours?

    No. All pilots start out with 0 hours at SunWest, however, your previous hours are used to verify your experience if applying for a direct-entry captain position. We can use 50% of your hours from a previous airline, or 100% of your hours from VATSIM. Real-world pilots with a rating of a commercial pilot certificate rating or higher can use their real-world experience in lieu of the 250 hour captain requirement.

  • Is SunWest right for me?

    SunWest is the perfect choice for pilots who want an added level of depth to their virtual airline, and appreciate attention-to-detail. We strive to offer realistic and appealing operations by utilizing high-fidelity add-ons and their features, such as equipment failures, advanced aircraft performance models, and ACARS. In other words, if you seek a balance of fun and realism, SunWest is a good choice for you!


  • I am at familiar with & agree with all policies set out in the pilot handbook.
  • I am at least 18 years of age.
  • I own a copy of one of the flight simulators supported by SunWest, as well as a copy of one of the add-on aircraft supported by SunWest.
  • I understand that SunWest is not a "jump in and fly" virtual airline, and that I will have to complete a reasonable amount of training before beginning line duties.
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