Qantas Papal Charter
Sydney, 18 July 2008
Qantas today announced that it would operate a special charter flight for the return trip to Rome for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI as part of the airline's support for World Youth Day 2008.
The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Mr Geoff Dixon, said the airline was privileged to be involved in World Youth Day and honoured to be responsible for the Papal party's return home.
Mr Dixon said the special Qantas charter would leave Sydney on 21 July, carrying the Pope, the Papal party and accompanying international media.
As a major corporate partner and the official airline of World Youth Day, Qantas had played a large role in bringing pilgrims to Sydney to celebrate.
Mr Dixon said Qantas had operated four additional services to Australia to bring pilgrims to the event - three from Rome and one from Los Angeles. In addition, the airline helped thousands of other pilgrims make the journey to Sydney to enjoy this important event.
"Qantas has flown around 20,000 pilgrims from all around the world to Australia to experience World Youth Day."
Mr Dixon said major events such as World Youth Day offer a great chance for Australia to be showcased to an international audience, Mr Dixon said.
"We are delighted to see the large numbers of international pilgrims that have travelled to our country to attend World Youth Day, who in turn we hope will become wonderful ambassadors for Australian tourism."
Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (Q3791)