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Sick Children Find Santa Claus in the Sky
Celebrating its fifth consecutive year, Air Transat’s Flight in Search of Santa today gave hundreds of lucky children from the Children’s Wish Foundation the opportunity to meet Santa Claus at an altitude of more than 8,000 meters. This special flight departed from Montreal-Trudeau Airport at noon and was a cheerful and magical event to the delight of all passengers and crew members on board.
The adventure began this morning as the children and their families arrived at the Air Transat counter at the airport to collect their boarding passes for the North Pole. After a fun celebration attended by a happy gang of elves, approximately 250 passengers climbed aboard an Air Transat Airbus A310 en route to the North Pole. During the 90-minute flight, Santa Claus himself appeared and, in keeping with tradition, handed out presents to the excited children. Similar flights took place in Toronto today and in Vancouver yesterday (Wednesday, December 16).
Several well known personalities, including singer and Foundation spokesperson Marie-Hélène Thibert, and TV hosts Lori Graham and Stéphane Bellavance, also took part in the adventure.
Allen B. Graham, Air Transat’s President and Chief Executive Officer, took the opportunity to announce an $850,000 donation to The Children’s Wish Foundation. The amount was collected over the past year from Air Transat passengers by the airline’s crew as part of the Change for Kids program. Air Transat has been associated with the Foundation since 2004 and has donated more than $4.5 million to date.
“The Foundation is fortunate to count on the support of Air Transat, a platinum partner for five years now,” said Michael Wright, President of the National Board of the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. “This event is one of the greatest moments of the year for the Foundation and for the children who participate. We are delighted that Air Transat is there to help us make this unique day possible for these kids, for whom illness is a daily reality.”
“Air Transat supports the work of the Children’s Wish Foundation and is pleased to be its partner.” Mr. Graham added. “Our employees have chosen to champion this cause because it is aligned with their values and those of Air Transat. They invest time and effort to help make these children’s dreams come true. Our customers’ contribution is also very important, and we thank them for their outstanding generosity.”
The Flight in Search of Santa event has been made possible thanks to the generous collaboration of several partners, including the airports in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, which made logistical arrangements, as well as Air Transat employees, who participated on a volunteer basis.
The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada is a national, grassroots organization dedicated to providing a once in a lifetime experience for children diagnosed with high-risk, life threatening illnesses. The Foundation is the only all-Canadian organization with offices from coast to coast granting wishes for these special children. The standard of personal care and attention given to each wish sets the Foundation apart from any other organization. The Children's Wish Foundation takes pride in the fact that it has never refused an eligible child.
Air Transat is Canada’s leading holiday travel airline. It carries some 3 million passengers annually to nearly 60 destinations in 25 countries. Air Transat has a fleet of 18 Airbus A330s and A310s. The company employs approximately 2,000 people. Air Transat is a subsidiary of Transat A.T. Inc., an integrated international tour operator with more than 60 destination countries and that distributes products in over 50 countries.