Come fly with me
Bell 505.

Come fly with me

MIKE ABOUT TOWN - Atty. Mike Toledo (The Philippine Star) - December 1, 2020 - 12:00am

Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away…”

Who does not know this popular song composed in 1958 for Frank Sinatra, which was the title song of his best-selling album of the same name?

Even millennials and Generation Z would probably be familiar with this now-classic standard since it was also included by popular Canadian crooner, Michael Bublé, in his 2003 self-titled album.

Bell Managing Director for Asia Pacific David Sale.

I have occasionally included this in my own singing repertoire; like, recently, when the Bravo Executive Lounge at RJ Bistro at the Dusit Thani Hotel returned after months of quarantine and I was invited by no less than the legendary “Guitarman” himself, Information and Communications Undersecretary Ramon “RJ” Jacinto, to jam with him and the very talented Bravo Trio Band.

The song itself is enticing, inviting one and all to take flight and to explore or discover the far reaches of the world, or even places around one’s country that one has not been to yet.

This is easier said than done, what with the current restrictions on air travel due to the pandemic. We can travel by air, no doubt, albeit limited.

Corollary to this is the fact that air travel, even within the metropolis, for a short hop or quick jaunt to beat the traffic gridlock on the ground, has been acknowledged as most efficient, even considering the cost.

Bell Pilot Sean Mah.

During the time of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), chartered flights both by plane or by helicopter would do the yeoman’s job of ferrying either patients, medical teams or much-needed medical supplies from one point of the country to the other.

We foresee more private charter flights under the “new normal.” For one, because of the need for social distancing which, let’s face it, is quite a challenge if one flies commercial.

Now, Bell Flight or Bell Textron Inc., formerly known as the Bell Helicopter Company, has been a pioneer in the helicopter and vertical lift business. Founded in 1960 as a spinoff from one of three divisions of Bell Aerospace which Textron purchased back then, it is considered as a prime innovator in helicopter and tilt-rotor technology, manufacturing these aircraft both for military and civilian use.

Bell has been a long-recognized brand of reliable helicopters. In fact, the MVP Group of Companies’ very own private aviation firm, Pacific Global One Aviation Company Inc., has the dependable Bell 429 in its fleet.

The author.

As is the way with moving forward into the new normal brought about by this COVID-19 pandemic, Bell Flight also seeks ways now to redefine what flight is capable of and what potential there is in the travel industry.

One of these was a very recent virtual get-together held in partnership with the Philippine Tatler, where select guests were gathered together to discuss travel potentials and possibilities, private charters, and everything and anything there is about flight.

Suffice it to say, I was the pilot of the “flight” that evening, appropriately dubbed as “Come Fly With Me.” My profuse thanks to my good friends, Philippine Tatler managing director Irene Martel Francisco and editor-in-chief Anton San Diego, for the invitation, for giving me my “wings,” so to speak, to captain this quick but delightful journey.

Of course, no splendid flight would be complete without exquisite food and drink, and in this case, Tatler Experience Kits (our evening’s version of in-flight meals) composed of a special selection of canapés and pasta by Shangri-La at the Fort paired with custom cocktails by The Back Room were delivered to each guest’s residence.

This, too, is the new norm of virtual events and parties: catered food delivered to the respective locations of the guests.

David Sale, Bell Flight’s managing director for Asia-Pacific, was also on hand to share his experiences about travel and aviation, himself an avid pilot and global traveler.

Screenshot of the guests of Bell Flight-Tatler virtual event (from top, left): Irene Martel Francisco, Sean Mah, the author, David Sales, Benjamin Ji, Ambassador Joey Antonio, Small Laude, Harold Heronimo, Wick Veloso, Paolo Martel, Tina Cuevas, Beng and Rikki Dee, Alby Xerez-Burgos, Ton Concepcion and Carmela Bocanegra.

The evening was capped by a video of a Bell 505 flying over the mind-blowing scenery of Vietnam. A hush fell over cyberspace as we all watched the film and I sensed that all and sundry who were there were really pining for the moment when they could take to the skies and fly to destinations other than their home. Even to nowhere, but just for the sake of being able to go out and take flight.

As the refrain of the song goes: “Once I take you up there, where the air is rarefied, we’ll just glide, starry-eyed; once I get you up there, I’ll be holding you so near, you may hear, angels cheer ’cause we’re together…”

Soaring through the skies is bliss.

Bespoke food kit for the guests.


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