Pope John Paul left Rome's Fiumicino Airport on Friday (12 February) at the start of a four nation.
GV & SCU Aircraft on tarmac
SV INTERIOR Aircraft fittings including seats and table (3 shots)
SV Aircraft's cockpit
SV Pilot of aircraft, Captain Silvano Silenzi interviewed by Visnews reporter
GV Aircraft on runway
SCU Pope John Paul farewelling Cardinals and walking through airport building, surrounded by security guards
GV Alitalia aircraft taxiing
TRANSCRIPT FOR SHOT FOUR:
REPORTER: "Are there any special arrangements that have been made by Alitalia in terms of security provisions, and anything different about this flight than previous flights?"
SILENZI: "I think of it a little bit different according to the Alitalia (indistinct). The plane is in hangar since three of four days ago and is surrounded from the police, our police, our, I mean the Alitalia security police, and it is forbidden to go there. That's why we are...nobody is allowed to go there."
REPORTER: "I see, and that's why we're doing the interview here?"
SILENZI: "Rather than the plane, yes."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Pope John Paul left Rome's Fiumicino Airport on Friday (12 February) at the start of a four nation. West African tour. It was the Pontiff's first foreign trip since the attempt on his life last May. Cardinals and hundreds of wellwishers packed the airport to see the specially converted Alitalia Airbus take off into a cloudless sky. On arrival at Fiumicino, the Pope prayed for several minutes in the new airport chapel. The eight day tour takes the Pope to four African states -- Nigeria, Benin, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon. The Airbus, specially converted by Alitalia for the tour, is divided into three sections -- a suite for Pope John Paul, accommodation for Vatican aides, and a compartment for newsmen. The pilot is Captain Silvano Silenzi who admits in an exclusive Visnews interview that the flight is more important than he's used to.