Catholic low-cost airline debuts

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The Vatican has teamed up with the Italian postal service to retrofit cargo planes to carry passengers to key Catholic pilgrimage sites in Europe and Mexico.

The airline, Mistral Air, has begun to fly to the Loudres shrine in France. Future destinations will include the shrine of Fatima in Portugal, the shrine of the Madonna of Guadalupe in Mexico, Santiago de Compostela in Spain, and Czestochowa in Poland, according to the BBC.

As the blog Airline Confidential notes: "While [the airline] does not claim any higher power, it rather marvelously states that it will show mercy, if not charity, in the fare structure."

The planes are decorated on the outside in the Vatican colors of yellow and white. On the inside, you'll find sacred inscriptions. Booking can only be done in Italian by phone at the moment. Get contact info at Mistral Air [BBC.]

Update: Aug. 28: CNN.com offers video of the flight.

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