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Pope Francis departs for seven-hour flight to Nairobi

Pope Francis left Fiumicino Airport in Rome on Wednesday morning aboard an Alitalia Flight for his first Africa tour.

The airline tweeted immediately after departure; “First trip in Africa for Pope Francis has begun! AZ4000 has taken off from Fiumicino #firsttimeinafrica @pontifex.”

The Pope’s flight is scheduled to land at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi at 5 pm.

He will spend three days in Kenya then depart for Kampala, Uganda, and later Bangui, Central African Republic.

The papal flight, as it is known when the Pope boards, has 70 journalists on board, four of them Kenyans attached to Nation Media Group.

NTV’s Mark Masai on Wednesday morning tweeted a photo of journalists at the Fiumicino Airport waiting to board the papal flight.

He captioned the photo, “Privilege that @ephymwangi @m_mumo @dailynation ‘s Namunane&I are only African journalists part of VAMP #PopeInKenya.”

Pope Francis will be the second pope to visit Kenya after Pope John Paul II who made three separate trips as Pope.

Upon arrival, the Pope will be treated to a welcoming ceremony at State House after which he will meet Kenyan authorities and diplomats then proceed to the Apostolic Nuciature in Westlands where he will spend the night.