Former model and GMA artist Mann Ed Demalata is back in the limelight as a social media personality. Now a licensed pilot, the aviation influencer earned a huge following on photo and video sharing app Instagram after having numerous online features and brand collaborations.
Demalata, currently flies as a turboprop captain for one of the top airlines in the Philippines. He became a captain in 2016 which he considers a major career milestone.
Given the opportunity to reach a wide audience, Demalata imparts his insights on flying in the new normal. He wishes to address the concerns of those who miss travels but are still hesitant to book flights.
Asked how safe it is these days to fly, Demalata said, "All of our aircraft are equipped with HEPA filters which purifies 99.98 percent of airborne contaminants such as viruses and bacteria."
He also added that all of their employees in the company are fully vaccinated and are updated when it comes to Covid-19 health protocols. These safety measures include mandatory social distancing, wearing of face masks and face shield, disinfecting, and health checks before every flight.
"I am happy that the infection rate is going down and so is the number of active cases. Consequently, flights are beginning to pick up again," Demalata beamed.
He added, "I'm happy that majority of our population is getting vaccinated. There really is a light at the end of the tunnel."
On the industry's recovery
"This virus has been with us for the past two years and I think it is going to be here for the next few years or so. We have no better option but to equip ourselves and learn to live with it," Demalata said, opting to be realistic about the current situation.
"You see, people missed flying and once we get into a better situation, people will want to visit their friends and relatives all over the world," he added.
While Demalata is thrilled about the travel industry slowly recovering and getting back on track, he emphasized the need to be mindful that the Covid-19 risks are still serious and prevention is key.
When asked about his fellow industry practitioners who lost their livelihood during the pandemic, Demalata believes things were just put on hold. With a positive outlook in mind, he had this to say, "I hope that this short break for them opened new opportunities and they were able to explore other God-given talents and skills while waiting to fly again."
Demalata wishes to share this positivity even with the future pilots. He vows to continue sharing his flying experiences and learnings from the job for two reasons — to inspire and to motivate his followers.