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airBaltic to fly Pope Francis through the Baltics

The airline will carry the papal delegation on an A220-300 between the three Baltic capitals and back to Rome.

The Latvian airline airBaltic will have the responsibility of hosting Pope Francis and his official delegation on their trip to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia over the coming days.

For the first time in its history the airline will carry the papal delegation on an Airbus A220-300 aircraft between the three Baltic capitals and back to Rome.

airBaltic will host the delegation on their journey from Vilnius to Riga, then to Tallinn, and from Tallinn to Rome on September 25. It will not, however, be flying the initial journey to Vilnius.

Pope Francis’ itinerary – coming exactly 25 years after a visit to Lithuania from St Pope John Paul II – reflects that fact that Lithuania is the only Catholic country in the Baltic region.

He flies to Vilnius on Saturday, September 22, arriving at 11:30, spending the day there greeting the public from the Presidential Palace and later addressing the crowds from a stadium set up in Cathedral Square.

On Sunday he drives to Kaunas, Lithuania’s second city, and returns to Vilnius at 16:00 for prayer and other visits, according to The Jesuit Review magazine.

On Monday he flies to the Latvian capital Riga and in the afternoon visits Aglona Basilica, Latvia’s main shrine and a major religious tourism destination, where he celebrates Mass. He then returns to Vilnius for the night.

Convent for lunch
On Tuesday, after a farewell ceremony in Vilnius, he flies to Tallinn in Estonia for further meetings with government officials, visits a convent for lunch, then goes to the cathedral and celebrates Mass in Freedom Square. After a farewell ceremony, he returns to Rome.

“It is a great honour and pride for the Latvian airline airBaltic to become the official carrier of the Papal delegation’s visit to the Baltics. It will be a significant visit, as all three Baltic states are celebrating their centenary this year,” says airBaltic CEO Martin Gauss.

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