SANTIAGO – Only five days before Pope Francisco’s arrival in the country, LATAM Airlines has presented a special plane that will transport the pontiff on his trip through Chile to the cities of Temuco, Santiago and Iquique.
The aircraft, an Airbus A321, with capacity for 220 passengers, will transport around 130 passengers members of the Papal Combine, including members of the Catholic Church, government protocol staff, security teams of Chile and the Vatican, technical support and LATAM support staff.
The plane that will be in charge of transporting the Pope through the skies of Chile is preparing to receive him and his entire entourage. On the outside, he carries a decal on both sides with the official logo of Pope Francis and another with the hashtag of his visit #ElVueloDeFrancisco.
Inside, there will also be heads and pillows stamped with the logo that represents it in each of the seats, the names of each passenger, welcome and farewell cards, blankets and down depending on the type of flight and a bag with essential products for trip.
“Our crews and all those who have worked to carry out this important mission, have been preparing for months and for all the logistics that require trips like these, from the conditioning of the aircraft, the operational coordination and everything necessary to provide a service aboard excellence, “said Gisela Escobar, Vice President of Corporate Affairs LATAM.
LATAM is the only airline group that offers a network of connections within 6 countries in the Latin American region. In both Peru and Chile, the Pontiff will visit 6 cities and, at the end of his visit, the company will be responsible for his return on a transoceanic flight, which will fly directly from Lima, to Rome.
The service on board that will be served during the 4 trips from Chile, were designed with products that are usually served on flights over 7 hours or that are offered through our service on board for domestic flights Mercado LATAM.
“Following the recommendations of the Vatican that it was a unique menu for all passengers, with simple and easy to transport food, is that we design different trays according to the duration of the flight and its itinerary, which include fresh food and typical of the region, “says Hugo Pantano, Executive Chef of LATAM.
To commemorate what will be the visit of Pope Francis in Chile, LATAM will make a special gift and plant 5 thousand native trees in the town of Santa Olga, an area affected by the fires of 2017. “We wanted to make a gift that was symbolic and that will leave a legacy in the country. Your visit will not only leave us with a message of Peace and Hope so necessary in these times, but it will also bring life to an area that was tremendously devastated by the fires, “adds Escobar. LATAM will leave a plaque in the area as a tribute to the Holy Father and his concern for the care of the planet, expressed in his Encyclical “Laudato SI”.
As a recommendation for passengers who have planned trips between January 16 and 18, some road closures and restrictions are scheduled for access to Santiago airports and especially in the Iquique and Temuco air terminals, therefore the Company recommended to present itself with at least three hours in advance for domestic flights and in the case of international flights you must be at least four hours in advance.
LATAM will accompany the Supreme Pontiff in the following tours:
Wednesday January 17: Santiago- Temuco- Santiago
Thursday January 18: Santiago- Iquique- Lima
Friday January 19: Lima- Puerto Maldonado- Lima
Saturday January 20: Lima- Trujillo- Lima
Sunday January 21: Lima- Rome
This will be the second time a Pope visits Chile. In April 1987, 30 years ago, Juan Pablo II did the same and it then it was LAN Chile, now LATAM, which moved Pope John Paul II between the routes of Santiago, Punta Arenas, Puerto Montt, Concepción, Temuco, La Serena, Antofagasta and Buenos Aires.
LATAM Airlines Group is Latin America’s leading airline group with one of the largest route networks in the world, offering air services to around 140 destinations in 25 countries, and is present in six domestic markets in Latin America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, in addition to its international operations in Latin America, Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, Oceania and Africa.
The Group employs over 44.000 people worldwide, operating more than 1,300 flights per day and transporting 67 million passengers per year.