Philippine Airlines Crew Feel Blessed by Papal Encounter

A trip from Manila to Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport would have seemed like a routine flight for any experienced flight crew, but for the Philippine Airlines crew that recently operated the Papal flight to Tacloban, it was no less than a miracle.

philippine airlines pope francis
Image Source: Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines Flight PR 8010 flew from Manila to Tacloban on Saturday carrying Pope Francis on his first pastoral visit to the Philippines. Shepherd One, as the flight was known, was crewed by a highly experienced crew in the midst of incoming Typhoon Amang.

philippine airlines pope francis
Image Source: Vatican Radio
Three experienced Captains were at the controls of the Airbus A320-200 aircraft including Captain Ronald Narciso, Captain George Alvarez, and Captain Skee Tamayo. According to Philippine Airlines, Tamayo is the airline's Assistant Vice President for Flight Deck Crew.

philippine airlines pope francis
Image Source: Vatican Radio
Narciso, a former member of the Philippine Air Force and Philippine Military Academy, has logged more than 9,000 hours. He was at the controls of the aircraft as it was inbound to Tacloban. In an interview with the Philippine Star, Narciso revealed that the aircraft cruised smoothly for nearly 75 percent of the flight, until it approached Tacloban, when it faced turbulence caused by Typhoon Amang.

philippine airlines pope francis
Image Source: Vatican Radio
For Narciso, not even a storm was going to stop him from landing the aircraft safely in Tacloban where thousands were waiting for the guest of honour. "It was an honor for PAL, for me, and my family," Nariso told the Star in an interview. "We have no fear because our passenger is the Vicar of Christ on earth."

philippine airlines pope francis
Image Source: Vatican Radio
The five-person cabin crew was headed by Carol Uy, who has worked for Philippine Airlines for the last 35 years. According to Uy, the nearly full flight was all smiles in spite of the bumpy ride into Tacloban. "It was a little bumpy but it was an overwhelming and humbling experience," said Uy. 

philippine airlines pope francis
Image Source: Vatican Radio
Pope Francis was served a simple meal, along with other members of his entourage. Uy was accompanied by flight attendants, Michael Chincuangco, Elsa Yuson, Vina Reyes, and Ana Alvarez.

philippine airlines pope francis
Image Source: Vatican Radio
Even Philippine Airlines President Jaime Bautista had the honour of a Papal encounter. Both he and his wife Joji were at Villamor Airbase during a send-off ceremony for the Pope before he boarded the plane to Tacloban. 

philippine airlines pope francis
Image Source: Vatican Radio
According to Bautista, he and his wife were presented with a rosary from Pope Francis. "I felt very blessed having touched base with the Pope and received a rosary from him," said Bautista. "It is our honour and pride to fly Pope Francis to and from Tacloban City, so we formed the best team for the flight."

philippine airlines pope francis
Image Source: Vatican Radio
This is the third time that Philippine Airlines has served as the official papal carrier. It last flew a Roman Pontiff in 1981 and 1995 when Pope John Paul II made pastoral visits to the Philippines.

philippine airlines pope francis
Image Source: Philippine Airlines
References: Philippine Star

3 comments:

  1. Amazing Airlines.. love to FLY...

    ReplyDelete
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