L1011TGU
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Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

Tue Mar 20, 2012 3:57 pm

This is my first post, however I've been viewing A.net for around ten years.

Here's my question, I know that when the Pope flies it is generally a modded AZ jet. His predecessor often returned to Rome aboard a plane from whichever country he was in. Does Pope Benedict do this also? Does anyone have any insights to these flights? Are the mods similar to when the Queen travels on BA? Does the flight get a charter number or is Shepherd 1 (as the media referred to it when His Holiness was in the United States a few years back) the actual call sign? More importantly, for this upcoming trip what will be the A/C type (and flight number if not Shepherd 1) and can anyone provide a link to the flight plan on flightaware?

According to vatican.va:

Friday, 23 March 2012

9:30 Departure by plane from Leonardo Da Vinci international airport for León/Guanajuato
(Meeting of His Holiness Benedict XVI with journalists during the flight to Mexico (Papal Flight))

16:30 Welcome Ceremony at the international airport of Guanajuato (Silao area)

Monday, 26 March 2012

9:00 Farewell Ceremony at the international airport of Guanajuato (Silao area) (Address of the Holy Father)
9:30 Departure by plane from the international airport of Guanajuato (Silao area) for Santiago de Cuba

Santiago de Cuba

14:00 Welcome Ceremony at Antonio Maceo international airport Address of the Holy Father

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

17:00 Departure by plane from the José Martí international airport of La Habana for Roma


Thursday, 29 March 2012

Rome

10:15 Arrival at Rome/Ciampino Airport

[Edited 2012-03-20 09:18:59]
 
migair54
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RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:59 pm

he also does... at least when he went to spain he went back to Rome in an IB A320.

Maybe he can fly CU Il-96 on his way back to Rome.... it´s a good plane... i have flown a few times from HAV to MAD and it´s ok... and now i even think that they have a new business class because before it was not that good....

What is he going to fly in Mexico... from Mexico to Cuba and inside Cuba?? that are also good questions....
 
L1011TGU
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RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:49 pm

While he was in the US, he flew only AZ. Also on his trips to Africa and several European locations, he has been in an AZ A320/1.
 
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breiz
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RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:56 pm

Quoting migair54 (Reply 1):
he also does...

Correct. That is the protocol.
However, when national airlines are deemed not as safe as Alitalia, or if the local government is not willing to do the gesture towards the Pope (political implications), the Pope flies Alitalia both ways.
 
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ghost77
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RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:43 pm

He's flying AZ for sure to BJX and then heard AM flying him in a Boeing 737 from BJX to HAV and HAV-FCO that's the Q.

g77
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jfk777
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RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:08 pm

When John Paul II went to Havana in 1998 in was an Alitalia MD-11 both ways. Probably an A332 or 777 from Alitalia to MEX and from Havana.
 
migair54
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RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:28 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 5):
When John Paul II went to Havana in 1998 in was an Alitalia MD-11 both ways. Probably an A332 or 777 from Alitalia to MEX and from Havana.

I´m pretty sure the Pope will go back to Rome with Cubana... i say this because that´s very good publicity for Cubana and Cuban goverment and they are always very keen to do this king of gestures.

Maybe last time when the Pope when to Cuba it was 1998 so Cubana didn´t have a "new generation" russian planes.. the Il-96 is a good plane.
 
jfk777
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RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:55 pm

Quoting migair54 (Reply 6):
I´m pretty sure the Pope will go back to Rome with Cubana... i say this because that´s very good publicity for Cubana and Cuban goverment and they are always very keen to do this king of gestures.

Maybe last time when the Pope when to Cuba it was 1998 so Cubana didn´t have a "new generation" russian planes.. the Il-96 is a good plane.

Castro would just love to say " the Pope flew Cubana". The Vatican should not let the Cubans get such publicity.
 
bennett123
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RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:00 pm

iirc, it is normal for the "home" carrier to provide the return flight.
 
AR385
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RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:59 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 7):
The Vatican should not let the Cubans get such publicity.

That ship has sailed, don´t you think?
 
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Fyano773
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RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:35 am

Flight details:


  • 23-Mar-2012 LIRF / FCO 09:40AM CET MMLO / BJX 02:39PM CST Scheduled
  • Flight number - AZA4000.
  • Duration - 11h 59m.
  • Distance - 10,282Km.

    http://flightaware.com/live/flight/A...0/history/20120323/0830Z/LIRF/MMLO


  • At BJX, Pope Benedict will meet President Calderón.
     
    wolflair
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:49 am

    The million dollar question is what is Alitalia going to do with the B777. Just ferry it back to FCO?

    In any case, this is the very first time a B777 has landed at BJX. I recall once a B767 landed due to a diversion. Both USAF VC-25s have been there once. So pretty much every Boeing airliner type has ever made it to BJX at any given point. On the other hand, there have been only A320s and A319s.
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    breiz
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:49 am

    Aeromexico is the airline to be used between Mexico and Cuba.
    It is not cler if Cubana or Alitalia will be used for the return flight to Rome.
    http://www.christiantelegraph.com/issue15415.html
     
    797
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Fri Mar 23, 2012 3:59 pm

    It would be great to see the Vatican's deal with AZ. Flying a 777 to Mexico and bring it back empty would probably cost more than what they can afford. I'd love to see Alitalia's financial details on such a flight.

    Either way, if the 777 flies to HAV and waits for the Pope there, AZ would be grounding a perfectly good plane for 4 days. God knows how much revenues are being lost with this kind of deals! I'm guessing the Vatican is being charged at a full rate, correct?

    797
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    AR385
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Fri Mar 23, 2012 4:06 pm

    Does anybody happen to know the registration of the aircraft? It´s a 777-200
     
    flyingalex
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:05 pm

    Quoting 797 (Reply 13):
    It would be great to see the Vatican's deal with AZ. Flying a 777 to Mexico and bring it back empty would probably cost more than what they can afford. I'd love to see Alitalia's financial details on such a flight.

    Than who could afford? I presume you mean Alitalia? Because the Vatican is disgustingly rich.
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    Tdan
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:50 pm

    The Vatican bids out for charters in the same way sports teams bid. AZ makes money on these charters and is usually picked because they have an aircraft already sitting in FCO, thus minimizing the ferry time required. The Vatican pays for the roundtrip cost of the plane as part of the charter. This is why charters are typically so expensive. Plus airlines will not do it unless they can make money on the charter.
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    row44seatk
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:46 pm

    Quoting AR385 (Reply 14):
    Does anybody happen to know the registration of the aircraft? It´s a 777-200

    From all indications it's I-DISO.
    Hell, somebody has to sit in that seat.
     
    nostrum
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:52 pm

    Quoting jfk777 (Reply 7):
    Castro would just love to say " the Pope flew Cubana". The Vatican should not let the Cubans get such publicity.

    The Pope flew on a Cubana leased A320 from SCU to HAV in 1998, the plane was named "Mensajero de Esperanza" (Messenger of Peace). Havana to Rome he flew AZ MD-11.

    View Large View Medium
    Click here for bigger photo!

    Photo © Corey Karls

     
    row44seatk
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:16 pm

    Quoting rOw44SeAtK (Reply 17):

    Excuse me, I goofed, the registration is EI-DBL
    Hell, somebody has to sit in that seat.
     
    LatinPlane
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:53 pm

    I have no doubt that the government of Cuba will want Cubana de Aviacion do the honors of flying Pope Benedict home. It's a great honor and helps build national goodwill as almost the entire the country stops what they're doing that day to bid the pope farewell.


    AeroMexico DC-10

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94fJ877R82M

    Viasa DC-10

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U6QWrueFGhw

    Lan Chile 767 (forward to 4:20)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d37J8lH9nXA

    [Edited 2012-03-23 14:13:03]
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    UM78
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:42 pm

    Quoting 797 (Reply 13):

    There are several payer passenger on board, ex. Journalist. Price of the ticket Is euro 6720

    Quoting rOw44SeAtK (Reply 19):

    Correct and is normally the one used for the Vatican's LR
     
    EY460
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Sat Mar 24, 2012 7:30 am

    The aircraft was EI-DBL named "Sestriere" (an Italian snow resort, so no special name for him) delivered in November 2003. Interestingly enough, the aircraft was in old livery and it was still with the old configuration (old Magnifica Class, no premium economy but economy still in 3-3-3). I know that Alitalia only have 2 out of 10 reconfigured and in-new-livery B777 but I think they should have tried to send an updated plane. Maybe the Pope doesn't care but I think that a lot of journalists would have noticed the difference. Or maybe, since the journalists were travelling economy they didn't want to show them the 3-4-3 cabin.

    [Edited 2012-03-24 00:35:10]
     
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    RWA380
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:39 am

    Quoting flyingalex (Reply 15):
    Quoting 797 (Reply 13):It would be great to see the Vatican's deal with AZ. Flying a 777 to Mexico and bring it back empty would probably cost more than what they can afford. I'd love to see Alitalia's financial details on such a flight.
    Than who could afford? I presume you mean Alitalia? Because the Vatican is disgustingly rich
    Quoting Tdan (Reply 16):
    The Vatican bids out for charters in the same way sports teams bid. AZ makes money on these charters and is usually picked because they have an aircraft already sitting in FCO, thus minimizing the ferry time required. The Vatican pays for the roundtrip cost of the plane as part of the charter. This is why charters are typically so expensive. Plus airlines will not do it unless they can make money on the charter.

    The Vatican does pay for the charter, it's been AZ forever and a day, which makes sense for the reasons stated above, however I think it's a special relationship between the Vatican and AZ that most likely surpasses mere economics. The Vatican is pretty tied in with Italy. Otherwise, well backed, financially well off carriers would bid way low to just have the prestige of transporting the Pope. The next good pic will be the Pontiff passing out trying to climb up all those airstairs from the tarmac into an EK A380.
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    Thenoflyzone
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:47 pm

    Video of AZ landing in BJX

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9X88Th5XPk

    Thenoflyzone
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    adriaticus
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:28 pm

    Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 24):

    Is it just my ipad's shortcoming, or the video of AZ B773 landing in BJX cannot be seen?
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    EY460
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:31 pm

    The arrival video is working fine for me.

    http://notizie.tiscali.it/videonews/109230/Italia/

    This is the link to the Pope's arrival by helicopter at FCO, his boarding and the take off (sorry, the video is in Italian. Anyway, it doesn't say anything interesting).
     
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    jfklganyc
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:58 pm

    When the last Pope flew to the US, he flew home on TWA.

    This time, it was AZ FCO-JFK-ADW-FCO.

    Why the change? I would have imagined DL or AA doing the flight back
     
    797
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:16 pm

    Quoting EY460 (Reply 26):
    This is the link to the Pope's arrival by helicopter at FCO, his boarding and the take off (sorry, the video is in Italian. Anyway, it doesn't say anything interesting).

    Translating from Italian, the reporter says the Pope will arrive back in Italy the morning of March 29th at Ciampino Airport (CIA) and not Fiumicino (FCO). I'm very surprised.

    Does any of you have any info on this?

    Maybe the Cubana charter flight will fly HAV - CIA ?

    That is very interesting indeed.

    797
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    ghost77
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:29 pm

    Sad narration of the video to hear all that true rubbish of recent days-years in Mexico.

    g77
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    797
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:12 pm

    Latest news:

    The Pope is leaving Mexico right now on the same 777 that brought him in from FCO.

    This means, the mighty AZ 777 waited for him all the time, and my guess is, the same will be whilst in HAV.

    Interesting stuff... to have a perfectly good 777 parked for 5 days.   

    797
    Flying isn't dangerous. Crashing is what's dangerous!
     
    EY460
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:50 pm

    Alitalia is slowly reconfiguring his B777. Two have been completed so far (and none in progress). Maybe their network only requires 9 B777 so they didn't bother to get the "Sestriere" back. I know that few modification are carried out for the Pope flight, like the removal of the first row in economy class to allow interview while the aircraft is flying (without squeezing the Pope between the bulkhead and the first row of seats). Maybe it was pointless doing this preparation job three times.
     
    Gingersnap
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:54 pm

    FWIW, when the Pope came here he flew home with AZ out of BHX.

    I guess our national airline either wasn't available or was deemed unsafe  
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    MadameConcorde
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:00 am

    His predecessor hired an Air France Concorde for his flights to Africa. He also flew regular AF Concorde routes on his travels. I wonder if Pope Benny might have gone along at the time as his personal secretary?

    Yesterday I spotted this really nice picture of Pope in Mexico flying in a helicopter. Big seat. Looks like a comfy flight. He has his safety belt tightly tucked under his cape. He looks tired.

    Pope Benedict XVI flies over the Sanctuary of Cristo Rey on his way to celebrate a mass in Silao March 25, 2012.

    http://www.news.daylife.com/photo/0e...;__site=daylife&__site=daylife

    The video

    March 25, 2012. (Romereports.com)(-ONLY VIDEO-) On Sunday, the Pope boarded a helicopter as he made his way to Guanajuato's “Cubilete Hill.” The mountain holds a historic 72 foot statue of Christ, which honors the thousands of Mexican martyrs, known as 'Cristeros,' who died while fighting for religious freedom in the 1920's. Thousands of people greeted the Pope on the hill, as they waited to celebrate Mass.

    http://www.romereports.com/palio/pop...ish-6378.html#.T2_3NgbyikQ.twitter

    Pope leaving Mexico. You can see the Alitalia jet right behind him as he speaks. Looks like a big crowd at the airport.

    March 26, 2012 (Romereports) (-ONLY VIDEO-) After a three day apostolic visit, the Pope has said 'farewell' to Mexico. He was greeted by thousands of people in Guanajuato's airport, where he called on Mexicans to not be intimidated by the powers of evil.

    http://www.romereports.com/palio/pop...he-power-of-evil-english-6392.html

    Arrival in Cuba with Pope walking out of the big Alitalia jet. Looks like a 777-200. It has the Vatican and Cuba flags on the cockpit windows. The welcome ceremony was held at the foot of the aircraft. You can see the big engines with the captain clapping after the welcome speech.

    March 26, 2012. (Romereports.com) (-ONLY VIDEO-) Benedict XVI was received with military honors in Cuba by President Raul Castro at the airport in Santiago de Cuba. There was a 21-gun salute in honor of his first papal visit to Cuba.

    http://www.romereports.com/palio/ben...-arrives-in-cuba-english-6395.html

    Here you can see the captains and Alitalia green dressed ladies stewardesses while Pope delivers his speech in Spanish at the airport. Must be a honour for them to fly him. Looks like he has two flight deck crews with him on the aircraft. Maybe it will be the same aircraft "Pope Force One" and same crews taking him all the way back to Rome.

    The Vatican is a state within another State (Italy) and Pope is the only one of his kind. Must be an arrangement between Alitalia and the Vatican so they can keep the aircraft throughout the whole trip.

    http://www.romereports.com/palio/ben...-airport-in-cuba-english-6399.html

    Wishing Pope Benedict good health and a good stay in Cuba.

               

    [Edited 2012-03-27 01:15:22]
    There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
     
    EY460
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:28 pm

    I've just seen on TV that in Cuba the Pope is using his white armoured car. I wonder how this car was shipped to Cuba. It is tall and very heavy. I wonder if they also chartered a large cargo plane. Here is a link to the vehicle.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popemobile
     
    AR385
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:46 pm

    By Ship to Veracruz. There are actually two. The one used in Mexico, and the one used in Cuba. Both arrived by ship. One was taken to the Bajío region, the other shipped to Cuba. Each weighs 5 tons. They are 100% electric and produce no emissions.
     
    EY460
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:08 am

    Quoting AR385 (Reply 35):

    Thanks for that!!!
     
    MadameConcorde
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Sat Mar 31, 2012 11:50 am

    Benedict XVI meets with Fidel Castro in half hour private meeting (video)
    2012-03-29 00:56:32

    Fidel reportedly asked the pope how he was handling his responsibilities along with his age. The pope then replied that he may be old but he is still able to perform his duties.
    For the meeting with Benedict XVI, Fidel was accompanied by his wife and two sons.

    http://www.romereports.com/palio/ben...-private-meeting-english-6427.html

     

    Pope making his way out of the aircraft after landing at Ciampino airport (video)

    March 29, 2012. (Romereports.com) (-ONLY VIDEO-) It's official. The Pope is now back in Rome. He arrived to the city's Ciampino airport at roughly 10:30 Thursday morning, before being transported back to the Vatican by helicopter.

    Benedict XVI, who will turn 85 on April 16th, traveled to Mexico and then Cuba, for an apostolic visit. The Pope will rest for a few days, as he gets ready to celebrate Palm Sunday at the Vatican.

    http://www.romereports.com/palio/pop...-mexico-and-cuba-english-6428.html

    I wonder if they arrange a bed for him on these long flights the same they do on Air Force One and the SarkoJet?
    Nice view on the Alitalia B-777 engines as Pope walks down the steps with views of the plane while they all walk away.


    Jet Lag is a no-problem for Benedict XVI
    2012-03-30 18:30:07

    March 30, 2012. (Romereports.com) (-ONLY VIDEO-) After his trip to Cuba and Mexico, today the Pope attended the last of the traditional Lenten meditations. It took place at the Vatican's “Redemptoris Mater” chapel and Capuchin friar Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, delivered the sermon on Gregory of Nyssa.

    http://www.romereports.com/palio/jet...for-benedict-xvi-english-6436.html

         
    There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
     
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    breiz
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Sat Mar 31, 2012 2:54 pm

    So, a one Alitalia B777 round-trip after all.
    It make sense, but it is boring for the spotters.
     
    MadameConcorde
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:14 pm

    Quoting breiz (Reply 38):
    So, a one Alitalia B777 round-trip after all.

    It's a beautiful aircraft.

    I wish the photographers on board (Vatican accredited ones) would publish an article about a Pope's flight. A sort of trip report like we have here, so we could see the interiors, the food and drinks served to the Pontiff on the flight, the plates, glasses and cutlery, the seating arrangement for these special flights, the flight deck, captains (all senior captains I suppose), flight attendants, and more.

    I wonder if Pope Benedict ever showed any interest for airplanes and flying, maybe even going to the flight deck to see how they fly the plane, maybe having the captains coming to his seat to answer questions?

    Pope John Paul II went to the flight deck while flying on Concorde. He sat with the flight engineer for part of a flight asking questions and making remarks. He was really curious about Concorde and how they flew the plane. I am holding this information from Concorde captain Edouard Chemel in person - the specialist of official Air France Concorde flights. He is the Captain who flew the largest number of Heads of States on the Air France Concordes, all of French presidents Mitterrand and Chirac flights, a number of Prime Ministers, and other Heads of State including a Pope.

    I guess if Pope chooses to fly with this Alitalia B-777 on his official travels it is because he must appreciate the aircraft itself and the quality of service provided by the flight deck and cabin crews during his flights.

    I understand that all the accredited reporters are on the Pope's flights as paying passengers.

      
    There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
     
    L1011TGU
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Wed Apr 04, 2012 6:17 pm

    As I stated at the beginning, when he was in the US, he flew AZ here and back.
     
    jfk777
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    RE: Pope Benedict's Upcoming Trip To Mexico And Cuba

    Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:14 pm

    NO Cubana for the Castro's to say " Cubana flew the Pope ba

    Quoting L1011TGU (Reply 40):
    As I stated at the beginning, when he was in the US, he flew AZ here and back.

    Last time that may have happened but the Popes have flown TWA many times and once AA flew the Pope back to Rome from an event in Denver about 13 years ago. Pope Paul VI even flew Avianca back in the day.

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