They are Alberto Colautti and Giampaolo Voltolina, both from Monfalcone. For a pilot of the national airline it is the maximum goal
The papal trip, for an Alitalia pilot, is the highest recognition of a long and brilliant career.
And now, on the occasion of Francis’ pilgrimage to Budapest and Slovakia, the honor and responsibility of transporting the Pope in these days has fallen to two commanders from Friuli Venezia Giulia. A more unique than rare event that two out of three pilots of the crew come from the same region.
The on-board activities supervisor, the commander Alberto Colautti, 59, from Monfalcone, chief pilot of all the Airbuses of the national airline, 15 thousand flight hours behind him and a past as a Navy helicopter pilot were called to fill the position. military and instructor commander Giampaolo Voltolina, 54 years old, 14 thousand flight hours and a thirty-year career in Alitalia, originally from Staranzano, now living in Turriaco with his family. Together with them also the second officer, Alberto Panzironi, 49, from Rome and six assistants, including an Austrian hostess.
«I am really happy for this prestigious experience – Commander Voltolina says on the phone from Bratislava -. It is a great emotion for all of us to be able to accompany Pope Francis on his journey “.
It was Voltolina, on Sunday, who piloted the Airbus 320 from Ciampino airport to Budapest, the inaugural stage of Bergoglio’s pilgrimage. Before taking off, the Pope exchanged a few words with the crew and then withdrew to the part of the plane dedicated to him and his entourage of about ten people. On the Airbus Alitalia, in addition to the Holy Father and the Vatican staff, the Italian journalists also travel, for a total of about 120 people.
Today the bisiac commanders will take Francis from Bratislava to Kosice, a city in Slovakia on the border with Ukraine, where the Pope is planning two appointments, with young people and with the Roma community. Tomorrow in the evening, however, after mass at sanctuary of Sastin, the return to Italy is expected, with the landing of the Airbus at Ciampino.
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