MEXICO CITY, Dec. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- At an internal event held to celebrate the Virgin of Guadalupe, Aeromexico announced that it will fly His Holiness Pope Francis during his first apostolic journey to Mexico.
Aeromexico will use two different types of aircraft for the papal flights, including a Boeing 737-800 Sky Interior with 160 passenger seats to fly His Holiness and his entourage to the cities of Morelia and Tuxtla Gutierrez, and a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner with 243 passenger seats for the trip to Ciudad Juarez, and from there to Ciampino Airport in Rome.
This is the first time a pontiff will travel on board a Boeing 787, an aircraft widely regarded as the most advanced commercial airplane, on his way back to Rome that will last approximately 13 hours.
Aeromexico CEO Andres Conesa spoke at the event and said, "We thank the Holy See and the relevant authorities for trusting us with this special operation. I can assure you that everyone involved will work with the utmost enthusiasm and dedication to make sure that His Holiness Pope Francis enjoys the natural warmth and hospitality that characterize the Mexican people, and the excellence of our service as Mexico's global airline."
This will mark the fourth time a pope has flown with Aeromexico, as the carrier served as the official airline for Pope John Paul II on his visits to Mexico. The first and most symbolic of these visits was held in January 1979 when a DC-10 called "Mexico City" carried the Pope from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic to Mexico City, before taking His Holiness back to Rome.
During Pope John Paul II's second visit, Aeromexico flew the pontiff to different cities in Mexico including Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Durango, Monterrey, Tuxtla Gutierrez, Veracruz, and Zacatecas with one of its MD-88 airplanes, and took the Pope back to Rome on its DC10-30 called Chapultepec Castle.
Lastly, on August 1, 2002, a Boeing 767 christened "Mexico Siempre Fiel" (Mexico, Always Faithful) flew Pope John Paul II back to Rome after his fifth visit to Mexico.
As on previous visits, a team formed by representatives from different Divisions within Aeromexico is working together with the authorities and the pastoral visiting team to make sure that all of the flight services scheduled for the trip are provided with the highest possible level of efficiency and safety.
About Grupo Aeromexico
Grupo Aeromexico, S.A.B. de C.V. is a holding company whose subsidiaries provide commercial aviation services in Mexico and the promotion of passenger loyalty programs. Aeromexico, Mexico's global airline, operates more than 600 daily flights from its main hub in Terminal 2 at the Mexico City International Airport. Its route network spans over 80 cities on three continents including 46 destinations in Mexico, 16 in the United States, 16 in Latin America, three in Europe, three in Canada and two in Asia.
The Group's fleet around 130 aircraft is comprised of Boeing 787, 777 and 737 jet airliners and next generation Embraer 145, 170, 175 and 190 models. In 2012, the airline announced the most significant investment strategy in aviation history in Mexico, to purchase 100 Boeing aircraft including 90 MAX 737 airliners and ten 787-9 Dreamliners.
As a founding member of the SkyTeam airline alliance, Aeromexico offers customers more than 1,000 destinations in 178 countries served by the 20 SkyTeam airline partners rewarding passengers with benefits including access to 636 premium airport lounges around the world.
Aeromexico also offers travel options through its code share partners Delta Air Lines, Alaska Airlines, Avianca, LAN, TACA and TAM with extensive connectivity in countries like Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Peru and the United States.