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Pope Francis in Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia by Alitalia plane

The take-off yesterday, the journey from Sofia to Skopje tomorrow

Pope Francis took off yesterday morning to Sofia with the Alitalia flight AZ 4000 for the apostolic journey to Bulgaria and Northern Macedonia, operated by A-321 "Piazza Ducale, Vigevano" airplane.

Tomorrow, on Tuesday May 7, the airline will also operate flights from Sofia to Skopje, take-off at 08:20am, and return to Italy from Skopje with a landing in Rome-Ciampino at 8:30pm. Accompanying Pope Francis, a crew of three pilots and six flight attendants. The on-board activity supervisor is commander Alberto Colautti, 15,000 flight hours, chief of Airbus pilots, 57, from Friuli, ex-helicopter pilot of the Navy, expert in resilience and cognitive processes. Together with him the commander Francesco Barbato - 60 years old, from Naples, 14,000 hours of flight, married, two children, two degrees (political sciences and aeronautical sciences), bonsai enthusiast - and the first officer Emiliano Mariotti, 41, Roman, 12,000 hours of flight, married, three children, musician (guitar and saxophone) in his spare time. With Pope Francis, in addition to the pontifical delegation, representatives of the Italian and international press travel. The Alitalia team dedicated to special flights is also on board.

Since 1964, on the occasion of Paul VI's trip to the Holy Land, it is the reference carrier of the Holy See for apostolic journeys abroad.

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© AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency Srl