The Spirit of Stevens
Stevens Virtual Airlines started flight operations on May 3rd 2001. But plans
to have a virtual airline one
day were already born in 1979.
Inspired by the movie "Airport '77", were Stevens found its name,
the virtual airline existed several decades
on written paper and in the heads of two Aviation maniacs: Stefan Schweizer and Stefan Fischer.
As the plans were fixed and real life professions were established, the
future DFO Stefan Schweizer and
CEO Stefan Fischer decided to finally launch Stevens as a virtual airline in 1998.
Unfortunately Stefan Fischer suffered from cancer that year, so the launch
was delayed to unknown date.
Fischer finally lost the fight against cancer and died in September 2000.
His expressed wish was it, to continue with Stevens whatever
would happen and
thus Stevens Virtual
Airlines was launched finally in 2001.
The company started with 5 Boeing 747-400 aircraft and offered worldwide scheduled service.
Stevens 2-letter IATA code is SE and the the 3-letter
ICAO-code is STV. It has been decided to use
the ICAO 3-letter code for all flight operations.
But the concept of this airline was different
to what you know it from other
airlines. Stevens, in the
beginning, offered just a 2 class configuration with First- and Business Class only. The big advantage
compared to flag carrier like Lufthansa is it, to be able to sell First and Business tickets at a much
lower rates since there was no economy class needing to be subsidized.
With just First and Business Class (Stevens
offered 16 First Class and 216 Business Class seats on the
744) we were able to offer a comparable high standard at substantially lower fares which built a very
wide customer base in the Rhine-Ruhr region around the homebase Cologne. However, due to the ever
increasing pressure on fares, the continuously rising fuel costs and the newly discovered price sensivity
of business travelers in the wake of September 11th 2001 with it's associated downturn in air transport
and economy in general, the management at Stevens VA was forced to re-think its strategy to position
Stevens in a segment where it was able to survive these changes. Therefore, it was determined the
best option to change to a 3-class configuration (for the reasons outlined above) in 2007 to secure a
revenue stream that would allow Stevens survive in the current tough industry environment.
The Stevens fleet currently consists of 23 747-400 aircraft (including 4 747-400 freighters) and five
B767-300ER aircraft. Our airplanes have all the amenities that you know from other big carriers ...
and more. This means personal Inflight-Entertainment, Internet- and SAT-phone access in all three
all classes. Further, you'll find more legroom than at other carriers.
Stevens Virtual Airlines grew fast after the demise of the huge counterpart, British Airways Virtual (BAV).
Stevens took over 10 ex-BAV aircraft and entered therefore a total number of 15 Boeing 747-400 into
But the philosophy of Stevens was to offer their
pilots as much realism and professionalism as possible,
right from the start. Led by a real world pilot all experiences from the real airline business should flow into
this Virtual Airline. That meant offering of a monthly duty schedule for every pilot, A/C rotation schedules,
SOP's and a powerful automatic FlyBase.
All that is strictly orientated on real airline operation. But that meant to
establish some major changes: Stevens
tries to operate like it would exist in reality. That is read easily but has a strong meaning: We could no longer
operate with aircraft flying with other airlines in reality. So the ex-BAV airplanes are operating for British Airways
in reality and thus could not fly for Stevens at the same time. Furthermore it could no longer be accepted, that
the configs aren't changed for the sake of homogenous flightdecks!
Stevens decided to lease aircraft from the market, which
were available in real
life. We were able to find several
aircraft that were on sale/lease by Boeing and other companies (some aircraft in the fleet were withdrawn from
use by other airlines or stored in the desert).
page you can study all aircraft, their records,
hours flown, cycles, delivery dates, next scheduled
maintenance checks and of course: the airline they flew before they joined Stevens. Don't hesitate to check all
details! They are real, not virtual! Thanks to the hard work of CEO Timo Koecker and our Fleetcaptain Kris Gamaggio,
we can offer all details on our fleet. There, you can also download the PMDG and Level-D Stevens textures for FS2004.
After all we can proudly say: The spirit of Stevens lives.
The professionalism and realism has reached a new dimension
and that is recognized also by other Virtual Airlines.
Realism can be cruel. It means hard work, but it will pay off. It's our goal!
Stefan Schweizer, DFO Stevens VA