vendredi 10 mars 2017

9th March 2017, a day to remember

On the morning of March 9th, 1940, a baby was born in the name of "Flagship Cleveland", routed to the American Airlines delivery center. Today, exactly 77 years later to the date, the Breitling DC-3 HB-IRJ takes the air for one of its most memorable trip, a round the World tour that will see Her and its crew touching down in 28 countries and fly a tiny bit more than the Earth circumference. 
Before doing so, Breitling organized a very high security transfert of its 500 Breitling DC-3 World Tour watches that will travel with the airplane across the World. Here are some "Top Secret" pictures I was able to sneak from a special hidden camera in my wallet.

Once everything was set up, Breitling organized a Press & Media conference at the Four Seasons Hotel Des Bergues in Geneva, this is one of the highest ranked hotel in Geneva and very close to their  Breitling Boutique opened in September 2016 with Breitling Ambassador John Travolta himself. The ambiance during the conference was professional but also relaxed, everyone knowing what to say and everything ran like a swiss watch, basically this is all it is about isn't it?

The Press conference was also for Breitling a possibility to introduce to the audience one of the famous watch that will fly with us, here are some pictures

The backside of it
Jean-Paul Girardin, Breitling's Vice President and Francisco Agullo, Fonder of the Breitling DC-3 Association

What went on next is beyond explainable, the intensity of the feeling everyone had was almost unbearable. We first went to the airplane, crew only, Francisco Agullo having to answer a lot of questions from the journalists. As the preparation of HB-IRJ takes so much time, we finished exactly 2 minutes before the journalists bus arrived on the tarmac. One of the last prep on these 14 remaining seats was to install life jackets. Yes, Lake Geneva is still cold, no one really wants to swim for a long time though!

Marie, the helper of the day for life jackets and also professional photographer !!

It is in awe that every single journalist present today looked at the Breitling DC-3, splendid and looking just like brand new from the factory. Around Her were a lot of different Boeing and Airbus, all appearing boring compared to the beauty of HB-IRJ

It was quite hectic, answering to questions and at the same time dealing with all the last minutes troubles and necessary checks to get the flight to Avignon running smoothly. Once everything was ready, the whole crew posed in front of HB-IRJ for a family picture, before leaving for an ontime departure to southern France.

From left to right: Raphaël Favre, Paul Bazeley, Jean-Paul Girardin, Francisco Agullo, Gabriel Eveque

At 1405z, the task of closing the aircraft door was left to me, with the help of Thomas Hofmann, Maître de Cabine at SWISS International. 

At 1420z exactly, according to the restricted slots of Geneva International Airport, HB-IRJ went off for its World Tour and finally the only time towards a westerly direction. As always, you can follow the routing on the Breitling DC-3 website and the up to date Breitling news on the associated Breitling website

I would not finish this day without having a " Thank You" word for my fantastic parents, both present for this event and also for my wonderful girlfriend Marie. Having you three by my side for this journey is my continuous source of power. I love you

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