Pope Francis is set to take off from Rome tomorrow at 9am for a papal visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan with an Alitalia flight. Pope Francis will be welcomed at Fiumicino airport in Rome by the Italian airline’s Chairman, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, and CEO Cramer Ball.
The Alitalia flight will land at 3pm in Tbilisi; the flight will then continue to Baku, the Azerbaijan capital, on 2 October at 9.30am local time and landing at Ciampino at 10pm.
The papal flight will be operated by an Airbus A321 with two pilots and six flight attendants. Operations will be supervised by the Captain Luca Crugnola, 53. Sharing cockpit duties will be Captain Massimiliano Bernardini, 50, and First Officer Sergio Comitini, 53. Besides the papal delegation, representatives of both the Italian and international press will travel on board and looked after by the Alitalia's team dedicated to special flights.
Alitalia has been the airline of choice for overseas Apostolic Journeys since 1964 when Pope Paul VI visited the Holy Land. The journey to Georgia will be the 159th papal flight operated by Alitalia.