Chapman Freeborn Airchartering has played a key role in the preparation for Pope Benedict XVI’s official visit to Angola.
On behalf of a freight forwarder client, the charter firm’s Spanish office coordinated the air transportation of vehicles for the Pope’s motorcade and other necessary equipment from Vitoria (VIT) to Launda (LAD) ahead of the pontiff’s arrival.
The delivery of the 50-ton payload of vehicles involved an AN-124 aircraft and represented the first of five charters arranged for the events in Angola.
Two additional B747-200F cargo charters were organised by Chapman Freeborn’s UK and Portugal offices to move 130 tons of souvenirs and t-shirts from Lisbon (LIS) to Luanda; and the company’s VIP team also provided two passenger charters from Yaound’ (YAO) to Luanda for Italian journalists covering the Pope’s tour.
The visit has generated huge interest in the African country with tens of thousands of Angolans being bussed and flown into Luanda hoping to catch a glimpse of the Catholic leader. An open air mass planned for Sunday is expected to attract half a million people.
Local police have increased security on the city’s main routes to counter any potential threats when the Pope’s car, affectionately known as ‘The Popemobile’, passes the crowds. The last Papal visit to the country was in 1992.
Chapman Freeborn has 32 offices in 22 countries across five continents and coordinated more than 5,000 cargo and passenger charters last year. In January 2009 the company opened its first office in Africa, located in Kampala, Uganda.