Yesterday marked the 15th annual “Flight with Santa Claus,” when hundreds of children coping with a life-threatening illness, and their families boarded flights out of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver to meet Santa and his elves in the sky.
The event, a partnership initiative by Air Transat and the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada, has become an annual Holiday tradition.
Elves and animated characters welcomed children and their families at the Air Transat check-in counters to help get everyone in the festive spirit and ready for an experience like none other. There were also a variety of activities at the boarding gates to keep the young passengers excited, as they eagerly awaited their flight. The wait was well worth it, as shortly after takeoff the jolly old man himself made a surprise appearance onboard the flight, bringing the biggest of smiles and cheers from all the children and their families!
“After 15 years, the ‘Flight with Santa Claus’ has become a genuine tradition at Transat,” explains Jean-François Lemay, president, Air Transat. “Every year, our employees are totally committed to this exceptional moment, so that each and every sick child can enjoy some happy time with their loved ones. We want to thank all our volunteers and partners, including Montréal–Trudeau, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver International and Paris–Charles de Gaulle airports, which make it possible to hold this event.”
A $100,000 donation
At this year’s flight, Air Transat presented Children’s Wish Foundation with a $100,000 donation. The funds were collected throughout the year as part of the Small Change, Big Hearts program and other fundraising initiatives. This donation is in addition to the more than six million dollars the airline has donated to the Foundation since the start of their partnership in 2004.
“The annual ‘Flight with Santa Claus’ is truly a magical day that brings incredible joy to children diagnosed with a life-threatening illness,” shares Chris Kotsopoulos, Co-CEO at Make-A-Wish® Canada (unified with Children’s Wish Foundation on October 1st, 2019). “It allows children and their families to create special holiday memories to cherish for years to come.”
For more information, follow the hashtag #SantaFlight on social media.
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