Ukrainian International Airlines bring Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to Kyiv


On 25 July 2008 Ukraine International Airlines has brought to Kiev a patriarchal delegation headed by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. This delegation arrived in Kiev for the celebration of 1020th anniversary of Kyiv Rus christening. 

At 10:00 am. the special UIA flight from Athens to Kyiv via Istanbul arrived at ‘Boryspil’ International Airport, where Viktor Yushchenko, President of Ukraine personally welcomed the Ecumenical Patriarch and his delegation.

The reception of the Ecumenical Patriarch was held on the same high level as the reception of Pope John Paul II who also used UIA services in 2001 to travel from Kyiv to Lviv and from Lviv to Rome.

“We take it as the greatest honor for us to be able to offer our aircraft to His All Holiness the Archbishop of Constantinople – New Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarch’s Service,” said Yuri Miroshnikov, UIA`s President. “The choice of our airline for His All Holiness to travel to Ukraine is yet further proof that UIA is one of the most reliable airlines in the world today.”

The Boeing 737-500 aircraft that carried the delegation to Kyiv was fitted with special winglets which provide large fuel and emissions savings. It was piloted by one of the airlines most experienced crews headed by UIA chef-pilot Sergiy Voychulis.

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I expressed his gratitude for the pleasant flight and gave UIA his highest blessing, saying ‘Oh Kirios’, which in Greek means ‘Blessed be the name of the Lord’.

The 232nd Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I was born on 12 March 1940 on the Turkish island of Imvros. He received his elementary and secondary education in Istanbul. After completing undergraduate studies at the Theological School of Halki, from 1961 to 1963 he served as a reserve officer for the Turkish army. Later His All Holiness pursued graduate studies in Switzerland and the University of Munich and received his Doctorate of Theology at the Pontifical Oriental Institute of Rome.

On 25 December 1973 Patriarch Bartholomew was elected as a Metropolitan of Philadelphia (1973). For 18 years he served as a head of patriarch cabinet. In 1990 was appointed as Metropolitan of Chalcedon, serving as Archbishop of Constantinople from 22 October 1991.

The residence of the Patriarch, is located at the Cathedral of Saint George The Victorious in the city of Fanara, close to Istanbul.