COP28: Pope Francis to arrive in Dubai on December 1

The 87-year-old pontiff, who will have nearly an entire day of bilateral meetings with world leaders, will fly into the emirate in a carbon-neutral plane

by

Waheed Abbas

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Pope Francis. — Reuters file
Pope Francis. — Reuters file

Published: Thu 23 Nov 2023, 3:50 PM

Last updated: Thu 23 Nov 2023, 5:00 PM

Pope Francis will arrive in Dubai on December 1 to attend the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) on Italian carrier ITA Airways’ carbon-neutral plane.

The Pope will depart from Rome Fiumicino at 11.30am and land at Dubai World Central Airport at 8.25pm UAE time, accompanied by Italian and international media representatives.

The Pope earlier said that he would spend three days in Dubai for the climate talks.

“I believe I depart on the first (of December) and stay till the 3rd. I'll be there (for) 3 days," the pontiff said in an interview with Italian television network RAI.

According to a programme released by the Vatican earlier, Pope Francis will have nearly an entire day of bilateral meetings with world leaders attending the COP28 climate conference.

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Many world leaders including King Charles will attend the event.

The 87-year-old pontiff will be received on board at Fiumicino Airport by the ITA Airways senior team including its president Antonino Turicchi, general manager Andrea Benassi, and chief commercial officer and Volare CEO Emiliana Limosani.

14 crew members onboard

To look after the Pope and the accompanying delegation, a 14-member crew including 4 pilots and 10 flight attendants and an ITA Airways team dedicated to special flights have joined the flight.

The supervisor of onboard activities will be Commander Corrado Di Maria who has 18,000 flight hours of experience.

The Italian flag carrier will operate the highly efficient aircraft Airbus A330neo to fly Pope for the world’s largest gathering of leaders and experts on sustainability.

Airbus A330neo operates with 25 per cent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions per passenger than previous-generation aircraft.

The carrier has prepared a plan that takes into consideration the efficiency of operational procedures, the use of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for an amount equal to 0.5 per cent of the refuelling needed for flights, and the full offsetting of emissions that cannot be eliminated through participation in a Gold Standard certified CO2 reduction project.

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