PAL is official Papal carrier


Philippine Airlines. FILE PHOTO

MANILA–Philippine Airlines, official carrier of Pope Francis during his pastoral visit next year to the Philippines, will draw from experience in rolling out the red carpet for the task of flying the Roman Pontiff to Tacloban to visit typhoon victims and back to Rome at the end of his four-day papal visit.

PAL will fly the Pope to Tacloban in the morning of January 17, 2015 for whole-day activities highlighted by lunch with typhoon Yolanda victims.

PAL is the only Philippine carrier with VIP flight handling experience for the Pope’s non-stop flight from Manila to Rome at the end of the fourth Papal visit to the country.

On two occasions in the past, PAL was entrusted with flying now Saint John Paul II during his 1981 and 1995 pastoral visits.

In 1981, PAL spread out the best when the Pope flew to six provincial stations within three days. A special Papal chamber was fitted on the DC-10 aircraft that flew him to Guam and Haneda after his visit.

In 1995, PAL again flew St. John Paul II to Port Moresby after a four-day visit that was restricted to Manila for health reasons.

PAL kept a collection of memorabilia of inflight items used by St. John Paul II on his PAL flights.

In 1970, Pope Paul VI became the first Vicar of Christ to set foot on Philippine soil.

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