The Pope to fly home from Israel on EL AL Israel Airlines

March 27, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel News
Tel Aviv, Israel March 27, 2009 EL AL, Israel's national airline carrier formally announced this week that they have been chosen to fly from Israel to the Vatican to return His Holiness Pope Benedictus XVI and his entourage home following his historic visit to the Holy Land. The flight from Israel to Rome will take place under tight security and media attention on May 15.

"We are honored to have been selected the airline that is carrying the Pope and his entourage and have assigned a special in-flight crew that represents several faiths," said Haim Romano, President, EL AL Israel Airlines.

Pope Benedict will be in Israel for a week between 8th and 15 May 2009, the first visit by a Pope to Israel since Pope John Paul II in 2000. This pilgrimage will be the third visit of a reigning pontiff to Israel since the state was created in 1948. This latest historic visit to Israel includes a number of destinations in Israel, including Jerusalem and key Catholic locations such as Bethlehem and Nazareth. (A detailed itinerary of the pope's visit is not yet available.)

An exclusive EL AL aircraft will fly to Israel especially for the Pope and his entourage. The Papal group consists of 30 clergymen and 70 pre-qualified journalists. EL AL announced the allocation of a dedicated Boeing 777. The airplane will be customized to include the Vatican insignia.

EL AL is working closely with the Israel Ministry of Tourism to use this high profile landmark visit to reach out to the Catholic tourist markets. Israel has seen a marked rise in Holy Land Tourism in recent years and hopes this Papal pilgrimage to Israel will encourage more groups and individuals from all over the world to visit.

About EL AL
In 2008, ELAL Celebrates 60 years of service as Israel's National Airline Carrier, offering the most nonstop flights between New York (JFK/Newark) and Israel as well as the only nonstop air service from Los Angeles. Across the World, EL AL flies to more than 40 destinations from Israel. Only EL AL has 1st Class service on nonstop flights between the U.S.A. and Israel. The airline has annual revenues of approximately $1.93 billion and carries more than 1.8 million passengers every year.

EL AL embodies Israel's values of innovation and caring and the promise of a genuine Israeli welcome. Your Israel experience begins with EL AL and warm Israeli hospitality. Israeli flight attendants will make you feel at home, the best trained Israeli pilots will take you to and from Israel and passengers enjoy enhanced in-flight dining with freshly prepared healthy meals.

EL AL. It's not just an airline. It's Israel.