Air Pacquiao

Chartered flight costs $100k as Air Pacquiao ferries huge entourage

By Abac Cordero
November 09, 2010

HOLLYWOOD – A bigger entourage calls for a bigger plane.

So, that’s what Manny Pacquiao ordered, a much bigger plane, a Boeing 757, that would carry him and 187 others, including his team members, government officials, family and friends, from Los Angeles to Dallas.

Pacquiao and his entourage, a bloated one, will fly out of LA at 4 p.m. Monday (7 a.m. Tuesday in Manila).

It will take them three hours to get to the Love Field in Dallas. Then they all head straight to the Gaylord Texan Hotel, the fight’s official hotel, located in the middle of nowhere.

Pacquiao had planned to take a 12-seater private plane to Dallas, but changed his mind just last week, opting to travel with everyone else as fight week begins in Texas.

Pacquiao’s decision to charter a jumbo jet triggered a mad scramble among booking agents, and anyone else who wanted to be part of the deal that would easily cost more than $100,000.

The honor went to Star Flight, under Rob Lyons, the same one that provides for the travel needs of the LA Lakers, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls and Denver Nuggets when they’re in town.

It’s the same airline company that took Pacquiao and 139 others to and from Dallas for the Joshua Clottey fight last March, and, for some trivia, the one that serviced the 1992 US Dream Team to the Barcelona Olympics.

Pacquiao said around fifty of his fellow congressmen will watch the fight, and some, if not most, of them will join him in Monday’s trip, to probably occupy the first class seats.

Pacquiao’s immediate family, including wife Jinkee and mother Dionisia, will be there, as well as trainers Freddie Roach and Alex Ariza, and friends, a handful actors and fellow boxers.

When Pacquiao and company landed in Dallas last March, some of the welcomers were surprised at the size of Pinoy boxer’s entourage, which would make Muhammad Ali’s look like a rag-tag unit.

“How did you get all these people inside the plane,” said one from Top Rank.

The Boeing 757, which can seat 186 to 279 persons depending on its configuration, is the same type of plane being used by the Vice President of the United States, known as “Air Force Two” whenever he’s on board.

For the meantime, this one will fly under the call sign “Air Pacquiao.”

No comments:

Post a Comment