Airline industry analysts say the coronavirus pandemic has left 16,000 passenger airplanes parked around the world.
With the global pandemic constraints and uncertainty about the future of commercial airlines, it is inspiring to look back at the glorious days of flying when it was a new and exciting experience.
Those fun times of flying remind the melody, “Come Fly with me”, a light-hearted travel theme song written at Frank Sinatra’s request to feature in an LP vinyl album released in 1958 with that title tune.
Although there were pioneer initiatives in the field of commercial flying, Pan American Airways was one of the airlines that captured the spirit of the golden age early air travel, becoming over six decades, the largest commercial airline of the century, and the symbol of the glamour of flying.
Pan American Airways started to operate in 1927, from their first office in Key West, as the first United States international air service in scheduled operation to Havana, in Cuba.
Passenger transport between continents was exclusively done by ocean liners until airlines introduced the use of “Clipper” flying boat Cruisers, which had overnight stops at on route hotels for longer intercontinental flights,
These aircraft provided all passengers what we rate today as the first-class service, when the absence of multimedia entertainment, was fully compensated with spacious seating and onboard comfortable lounges, bars and even sophisticated in-flight prepared meals.
Aircraft technology reliability and the efficiency of commercial airways services increased passenger loads, making flying more accessible to more people with the introduction of more economical fares and classes.
These changes were taking place when the height of aviation ignited the imagination of people around the world.
A new age of challenge and excitement in commercial aviation began with the jet age and the Boeing 747 range, where rich and poor could enjoy a carefree travel experience.
During the early years of the commercial jet, age flying was a playful and carefree adventure and a breezy change of pace an opportunity to visit the most exotic destinations in the world, without the worry of air safety, terrorist hijackings, onboard bombs or tedious wasted time luggage checking.
You could also smoke and take your own bottle of scotch or gin on board and, above all, you did not have to worry about pandemic threats.
Those were the times that Frank Sinatra celebrated singing
” Come fly with me, we’ll fly, we’ll fly away”