EL AL Israel Airlines to Fly Pope Francis and his Entourage Home to Rome Following his Historic Visit to Israel
26 May 2014- Ben-Gurion Airport, Israel
…Following the historic visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to Israel, EL AL Israel Airlines will fly His Holiness and his entourage back to Rome aboard flight LY514, which is scheduled to depart on Monday May 26, 2014 in the evening. The flight will be operated by a Boeing 777 which has been affixed with the official coat of arms of Pope Francis and outfitted with the special items required for such a flight.David Maimon, President and CEO of EL AL
: "EL AL, the national airline of Israel, was chosen to provide this special flight for the Pope and his entourage following this historic trip to Israel. We have invested a great deal to ensure that all of the requirements are met and the flight profile that was created will highlight EL AL's uniqueness including a hand-picked crew that will serve the flight."
The Pope's entourage will include Vatican officials and international journalists who covered the visit.
Aside from the in-flight crew that was selected to serve His Holiness and his entourage, EL AL's head chef, Moshe Segev, has developed a specially designed menu highlighting Mediterranean dishes created from the finest Israeli products.Pope Francis will be presented with a gift from David Maimon
: a specially selected piece of art created by Yaacov Agam, entitled "Faith-Visual Pray.” Agam, an internationally acclaimed Israeli artist, is one of the founders of the Kinetic style whose artwork can be found in museums around the world. In this piece, Agam has integrated significant symbols of Judaism – the Star of David and the Menorah; the Menorah not only symbolizes the Holy Temple of Jerusalem but also the light of the seven churches of Christianity. The underlying message of this piece is that various symbolisms merge together, creating perfect harmony.In addition
, Mr. Maimon will present His Holiness with a specially published book for the occasion with greetings and messages from EL AL passengers from around the world. These greetings and messages were the result of a social media request by EL AL to its passengers giving them the opportunity to send their personal greetings to Pope Francis.
During the flight, a video highlighting this historic visit of Pope Francis, produced by Israel's Channel 2, will be screened.
EL AL will provide a gift to each of the passengers on this flight: a bottle of wine from Barkan Winery – from its Altitude 720 wines. The bottle is affixed with a souvenir label with the date and flight number of this historic flight. The Altitude series from the Barkan Winery has won prestigious awards for its 2009 vintage including the Double Gold and Best Kosher wine and the medal for Best Wine in its Price Category at the International Terra Vino Competition.