The Holy Father, for his next Apostolic Journey on 31 January flies to Congo and South Sudan with ITA Airways. The flight with zero CO2 environmental impact will depart from Rome Fiumicino airport to the International Airport of Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
ITA Airways has prepared a journey with zero CO2 emissions through three specific actions that will contribute to achieve the goals:
- Efficiency of operating and eco-piloting procedures already in place ranging from route planning, airport handling, ascent and descent maneuvers, route optimization to aircraft interventions in order to reduce fuel consumption as much as possible;
- Attribution of the environmental benefits deriving from the SAF for a quantity equal to 0.5% of the necessary supply;
- The SAF, produced with co-processing technology, mixes traditional fuel with a percentage of organic part, used and regenerated cooking oil (not in competition with any food chain or to the detriment of biodiversity) which contributes to a 90% reduction in CO2 emissions. This SAF will be made available for distribution in the airports closest to the production sites, following the logic of proximity;
- The complete reduction of CO2 emissions related to fuel consumption that cannot be eliminated, through the purchase of "carbon credits" thanks to participation in projects aimed at reducing CO2 and selected on the basis of two criteria: the destination to local communities and the location in the countries where ITA Airways flies.
Furthermore, for the first time, the airline will employ an Airbus A350 aircraft. This lighter, more efficient and more silent Airbus, equipped with innovative technologies, allows a 25% reduction in fuel consumption and in CO2 emissions compared of earlier generation aircraft.
Once again, for Pope Francis' flight to Congo and South Sudan, in order to reach the total compensation of CO2 emissions, we chose the volunteer program "The Breathing Space Improved Cooking Stoves Programme", located in India and intended for families with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of traditional domestic kitchen stoves and replacing them with energy-efficient devices.
With this operation, greenhouse gas emissions, smoke, soot and particulate matter will therefore be reduced, with benefits finally on air pollution levels and in the field of safety and health protection.
It is with great honor and pride that ITA Airways once again acts as carrier for Pope Francis in a sustainable flight, a cause which is of great importance in his Magisterium.