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Pope Francis to fly on American Airlines

Pope Francis arrives to the Hill of the Cross in Holguin, Cuba, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. Pope Francis is scheduled to leave Cuba and arrive in the U.S. later this afternoon. (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate Via AP)
Pope Francis arrives to the Hill of the Cross in Holguin, Cuba, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. Pope Francis is scheduled to leave Cuba and arrive in the U.S. later this afternoon. (Ismael Francisco/Cubadebate Via AP) AP

American Airlines will be blessed this week with Pope Francis.

The Fort Worth-based carrier is providing the charter jet that will fly the pontiff between several cities in the U.S. before taking the pope back to Rome.

Pope Francis is scheduled to arrive from Cuba in Washington D.C. later this afternoon on an Alitalia charter jet. But when he departs Joint Base Andrews in Washington D.C. on Thursday to head for New York, he will be on an American Airlines Boeing 777-200.

The Pope travels with an entourage of about 30 Vatican officials and then another 70 journalists usually fly the charter jet with him as well.

According to Crux, a Catholic news website owned by the Boston Globe, the charter jets are basically paid for by the press corp.

“The roughly 70 reporters on the plane are asked to pay business class airfare in order to fly in coach,” this Crux article says. “The Washington-New York-Philadelphia-Rome part on American Airlines is $2,300.”

American previously flew Pope John Paul II from Denver to Rome on a Boeing 767-300ER in 1993.

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