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Air Transat and the Children's Wish Foundation Celebrate 10 Years of Helping Hundreds of Sick Children Join the Flight in Search of Santa

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To mark the occasion, Air Transat donates $221,000 to the Foundation

MONTREAL, Dec. 10, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The tradition continues for Air Transat and the Children's Wish Foundation, who are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their partnership. Again this year, hundreds of children and their family members took off for the North Pole on a very special mission to find Santa and bring him back to Montreal with them! In addition to the event, Air Transat turned over $221,000 to the Foundation from the money collected as part of the carrier's Small Change, Big Hearts program.

The adventure began in the morning, when the 250 guests were handed their boarding passes at the Air Transat check-in counter at Montreal-Trudeau Airport. Decorated like the North Pole, the boarding area was brought to life with elves, magicians, princesses, and superheroes. During the 90-minute flight, Santa must have heard the children's singing and laughter because he magically appeared in the cabin. In the spirit of Christmas, the man in the red suit took the time to meet all the children and hand out presents.

"For Air Transat and the Children's Wish Foundation, planning our Flights in Search of Santa is much more than a tradition. This magical moment is in line with our social engagement and is the pride of our staff members, who have been volunteering their time for the past 10 years," says Jean-François Lemay, general manager of Air Transat. "Since 2004, thanks to our clients' generous donations during our onboard collection program, we've been able to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of sick children and their families by donating over $5 million to the Foundation."

"We are extremely grateful to Air Transat and its staff for their continued loyalty and support", says Juli Meilleur, Director of the Children's Wish Foundation for Québec. "The Flight in Search for Santa is truly a wonderful moment. It allows wish families to come together on fabulous occasion while Air Transat personnel – who collect their clients donations every day – have an opportunity to meet the families they so greatly help. Over the past 10 years, Air Transat has helped us grant their most heartfelt wish to more than 500 seriously ill children."

The Flight in Search of Santa is made possible thanks to the volunteer efforts of Air Transat employees and the generous collaboration of various partners, including Montréal–Trudeau, Toronto–Pearson and Vancouver International airports. Similar flights took off today from Toronto and Vancouver.

This exceptional partnership reflects the efforts of Air Transat and its parent company, Transat A.T. Inc., to increase their community involvement in both their origin and destination markets. These efforts are all about social engagement, environmental stewardship and measures aimed at stimulating a tourism economy that is becoming increasingly responsible.

Small Change, Big Hearts
The Small Change, Big Hearts program is supported by donations of pocket change from passengers at the end of every Air Transat flight. Since December 2009, funds raised have been donated in equal parts to the Children's Wish Foundation and to SOS Children's Villages, an international organization that cares for orphaned and abandoned children in 133 countries.

About the Children's Wish Foundation
The Children's Wish Foundation grants their most heartfelt wish to children aged 3 to 17 living with a life‑threatening illness. Since its beginnings in 1984, the Foundation has granted more than 21,000 wishes across Canada, some 6,500 of them Quebec. Moreover, the Foundation is committed to never turning down an eligible child. This year, the Children's Wish Foundation plans to grant over 1,000 new wishes. For more information, visit www.childrenswish.ca.

About Air Transat
Air Transat is Canada's leading holiday travel airline. Every year, it carries some 3 million passengers to nearly 60 destinations in 30 countries aboard its fleet of Boeing narrow-body and Airbus wide-body jets. The company employs approximately 2,000 people. Air Transat is a business unit of Transat A.T. Inc., an integrated international tour operator with more than 60 destination countries and that distributes products in over 50 countries. Air Transat was named Best North American Leisure Airline at the Skytrax annual World Airline Awards, held in July 2014.

 

SOURCE Transat A.T. Inc.

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Image with caption: "Christmas magic at an altitude of 8,000 feet ! (CNW Group/Transat A.T. Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141210_C5357_PHOTO_EN_9257.jpg

Image with caption: "Christmas magic at an altitude of 8,000 feet ! (CNW Group/Transat A.T. Inc.)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20141210_C5357_PHOTO_EN_9258.jpg

For further information: Debbie Cabana, Communications and Media relations Advisor, Transat A.T., T 514-987-1616, 4662, C 514 443-0706, Debbie.Cabana@transat.com; Claudia Gilbert-Barron, Event coordinator, Children's Wish Foundation of Canada, Cell. : 514 632-4259, claudia.gilbert-baron@revesdenfants.ca


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