Air Transat and The Children's Wish Foundation invite hundreds of sick children on a special flight to the North Pole

Air carrier continues its Holiday tradition, donating more than $143,000 to the charity

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MONTREAL, Dec. 9, 2015 /CNW/ - For the 11th year in a row, Air Transat and The Children's Wish Foundation have teamed up to create a magical, unforgettable experience for hundreds of sick children across Canada as part of the Flights in Search of Santa event. These annual flights bound for the North Pole take off simultaneously from Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. Air Transat took the opportunity to hand over more than $143,000 to the foundation. The donation represents the amounts collected over the past year as part of the air carrier's Small Change, Big Hearts program and other initiatives, and is in addition to the $5 million raised for Children's Wish since the inception of the partnership between the two organizations.

The memorable day began at the Air Transat check-in counter at Montréal–Trudeau airport, where some 250 passengers, including children living with severe illnesses, along with members of their families, received their boarding passes for the North Pole. They then made their way to the boarding lounge, where a number of festive activities awaited. Finally, they took their seats in the aircraft for a 90-minute flight during which Santa Claus made a surprise appearance and distributed presents to the wide-eyed children.

This year, Air Transat was pleased and proud to bring the magic of Christmas to France as well: the carrier joined forces with Aéroports de Paris and the Association Petits Princes to make dreams come true for sick kids and offer their loved ones a day of magic and joy.

"For Air Transat, this annual get-together is a mainstay of the Holiday season, and a favourite event of our employees," said Jean-Francois Lemay, General Manager, Air Transat. "A child's smile truly brings tidings of comfort and joy, and we in turn are delighted to bring a little magic into the lives of hundreds of children with severe illnesses, across Canada and now in France as well, with our first flight from Paris."

For her part, Juli Meilleur director of The Children's Wish Foundation in Quebec enthused: "This one-of-a-kind, enchanting adventure is a welcome moment of respite for the kids and their families, who face a daily struggle with the realities of illness. We are so fortunate to have a long-standing partner in Air Transat that enables us offer a magical experience for the kids, as well as support us in achieving our mission."

The annual Flights in Search of Santa are made possible thanks to the generous collaboration of several partners including Montréal–Trudeau, Toronto Pearson and Vancouver International airports, and the volunteer efforts of Air Transat employees.

For more information, follow the #SantaFlight hashtag on social media.

Small Change, Big Hearts
The Small Change, Big Hearts program is supported by the donation of pocket change from Air Transat passengers at the end of each flight. Since December 2009, funds raised through the program have been donated in equal parts to the Children's Wish Foundation and to SOS Children's Villages, an international organization that assists orphaned and abandoned children in 134 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 23,000 wishes across Canada, some 7,000 of them in 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 or to make a donation, 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 more than 2,500 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 June 2015. 

Source:
www.airtransat.com
www.childrenswish.ca

SOURCE Air Transat

For further information: Valérie Dupuis, North Strategic, 514 622-4843, valerie.dupuis@northstrategic.com; Sandra Murray, Children Wish Foundation, 514 289-1777, ext. 2181, sandra.murray@revesdenfants.ca


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