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Alitalia's A-330 plane transports Pope to Iraq with a covid-free flight

Particular precautions and a special health protocol applied

Pope Francis will take off tomorrow on Friday March 5, at 7:30 am by Alitalia plane for the apostolic trip to Iraq, with a Covid free flight.

Particular precautions have been taken and a special health protocol has been applied, given the current pandemic crisis due to the spread of Covid-19. 

Pope Francis resumes with this trip to Baghdad the international flights interrupted last year by the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. During the apostolic journey, internal flights will be served by the national airline Iraqi Airways.

The extraordinary commissioner of Alitalia, Giuseppe Leogrande, will greet the Holy Father at Fiumicino Airport. Landing at Baghdad airport is scheduled for 2:00 pm local time. The flight will be carried out by an A-330, named the fourteenth-century painter "Giotto".

The pontiff will return to Italy next Monday on March 8 at 12:45pm at Rome-Ciampino airport.

A crew of eleven people made up of three pilots and eight flight attendants will accompany him. The supervisor of on-board activities will be Commander Alberto Colautti, 15 thousand flight hours, head of Airbus pilots, 59, from Friuli, ex-helicopter pilot in the Italian Navy, expert in resilience and cognitive processes. Together with him the commander Roberto Vallicelli, 56, from Castrocaro Terme (Romagna), 19 thousand flight hours partly accumulated in Air Mauritius due to an agreement between the two carriers, and the first officer Giovanni Gola, 55, from Rome, 15 thousand hours of flight.

In addition to the papal delegation, representatives of the Italian and international press will travel with him. The Alitalia team dedicated to special flights is also present on board.

Since 1964, on the occasion of Paul VI's trip to the Holy Land, it has been the reference carrier of the Holy See for apostolic journeys abroad. This one in Iraq will be its 180th papal flight.

See for details AVIONEWS.

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AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency