What Airline is the Pope Flying to the US?

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As many of you know, Pope Francis is paying a visit to the US this week, but I bet you didn’t know how he’s getting here. According to this USA Today article, Pope Francis is flying American Airlines on his journey over to the US.

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I reached out to American Airlines to see what additional information they could provide and was told the following: American has the honor of transporting Pope Francis from Washington, D.C., to New York, Philadelphia and back to Rome. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has chartered a Boeing 777-200 aircraft to carry the Pontiff. The airplane’s call sign will be Shepherd One.

He’ll be taking the three following flights on American:

  •  Andrews Air Force Base-New York (JFK) on Sept 24
  • New York (JFK) to Philadelphia on Sept 26
  • Philadelphia to Rome on Sept 27

Bottom Line

American made no mention on the price that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops paid to charter the 777-200 aircraft for this week, but nonetheless I think it’s interesting that the Pope is flying American Airlines.

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  1. I love how on his Alitalia flight -which is 49 percent owned by Etihad, The Etihad Logo was above the Pope’s Crest. I’m sure back in Abu Dhabi they got some enjoyment out of that! #thevaticancalledandhecangobacknow

  2. Literally the first line of the linked USA Today article: “Pope Francis arrived to the United States on an Alitalia plane.”

    Yet, you still wrote “According to this USA Today article, Pope Francis is flying American Airlines on his journey over to the US.”

  3. The Pope flew Alitalia for his Rome-Cuba-D.C. legs. This AA 772 is for his US domestic legs and return to Rome.

    It is tradition that the Pope fly on Alitalia for outbound legs and the flag carrier of the visited country for the return legs. Since the US doesn’t have a flag carrier my guess is AA was the cheapest.

  4. This… was kind of a worthless article that lost its focus. The title asks about the flight ‘to’ the US, but talks about the flight ‘from’ the US.

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