ITA Airways will operate its latest papal flight tomorrow by flying Pope Francis from Rome Fiumicino to Sakhir Air Base in Bahrain. His Holiness makes his latest journey with ITA following high-profile trips to Kazakhstan, Canada and Malta this year.

Pope to fly with ITA to Bahrain

On November 3rd, Pope Francis will travel on a special ITA Airways flight onboard an Airbus A330. The flight will depart from Terminal 5, Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) at 09:40 local time and is scheduled to land at Sakhir Air Base, Bahrain at around 16:45.

A papal delegation will accompany the Holy Father, along with representatives from Italian and international media and members of the ITA Airways team. Fabio Maria Lazzerini, ITA Airways CEO, and Emiliana Limosani, ITA Airways Chief Commercial Officer and CEO of Volare, will see off the Pope at Rome Fiumicino Airport.

Airbus A330-200 belonging to ITA Airways

Photo: Vincenzo Pace I Simple Flying

Pope Francis’ visit to Bahrain will be the first time a pontiff has visited the small Middle East nation. His Holiness will arrive at Sakhir Air Base, a small, single-runway airport in Bahrain used for VIP visitors.

A net-zero journey

In line with ITA’s sustainability commitments, the Pope’s flight to Bahrain will have zero CO2 impact in terms of fuel consumption. The Italian carrier said that its sustainability initiatives include “the streamlining of operational procedures, a program to support the use of SAF, and the abatement of the share of residual CO2 with a Gold Standard-certified emissions offset initiative.”

Pope Francis disembarking in Cyprus from ITA aircraft

Photo: Getty Images

ITA Airways added,

“It is an honor and a source of great pride for ITA Airways to accompany the Holy Father’s Apostolic Journey under the banner of Sustainability, a major commitment for the Company, as constantly reiterated by Pope Francis in his speeches. Sustainability is among the Company’s primary commitments.”

The Airbus A330, sporting ITA’s new Azure livery, will be piloted by a crew of four pilots and served by ten flight attendants. As with previous papal flights, Commander Massimiliano Marselli, boasting 18,000 hours of flight experience, will be the supervisor of onboard activities.

The Papal airline

As Simple Flying reported last year, ITA replaced Alitalia as the Pope’s airline after launching its inaugural commercial flight in October 2021. Pope Francis traveled with Italy’s new flag carrier for the first time on December 2nd, 2021, flying from Rome to Cyprus onboard an Airbus A320.

His Holiness has flown with ITA on multiple occasions since then, including journeys to Canada and Malta along with a recent trip to Kazakhstan this September. Simple Flying took a closer look at how the Pope flies, noting that the Holy Father usually travels with an entourage of around 30 people.

Have you ever spotted the Pope’s plane? Let us know your stories in the comments.

  • ITA Airways Airbus A330 in sky

    ITA Airways

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Rome Fiumicino Airport

    Year Founded:


    Fabio Lazzerini



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