Air Transat and the Children's Wish Foundation celebrate 15-year partnership
TORONTO, Dec. 5, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - 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."
"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."
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 $6 million the airline has donated to the Foundation since the start of their partnership in 2004.
For more information, follow the hashtag #SantaFlight on social media.
Small Change, Big Hearts Since December 2009, the funds raised have been donated in equal amounts to the Children's Wish Foundation and to SOS Children's Villages, an international organization that cares for orphaned and abandoned children in 134 countries. Since November 2017, it has also been possible to donate to the Small Change, Big Hearts program when buying a holiday package, either online at transat.com, or through a travel consultant or the Transat call centre.
About Air Transat Air Transat is Canada's number one leisure airline. It flies to some 60 international destinations in more than 25 countries in the Americas and Europe, offers domestic and connecting flights within Canada, and carries some 5 million passengers every year. Air Transat is a business unit of Transat A.T. Inc., a leading integrated international tourism company specializing in holiday travel and offering vacation packages, hotel stays and air travel. Transat was awarded Travelife certification in 2018 in recognition of its commitment to sustainable development. Based in Montreal, it has 5,000 employees.
Recent distinctions and awards
Named World's Best Leisure Airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards
Voted Best Tour Operator and Favourite Overall Supplier at the Agents' Choice Awards presented by Baxter Travel Media
Voted Best Airline and Best Tour Operator at the Trophées Uni-Vers awards organized by the Association des Agents de Voyages du Québec
Ranked among Canada's Best Employers and first among airlines on Forbes magazine's list
About Children's Wish Foundation of Canada In a milestone moment, Children's Wish Foundation of Canada and Make-A-Wish®Canada have joined forces, with the goal of granting the wish of every eligible child across the country. United as Make-A-Wish®Canada, our mission is to provide children with life-threatening illnesses the opportunity to realize their most heartfelt wish, giving them the strength to endure their treatments and build resilience. To learn more, visit www.thepowerofonewish.ca.
Together, we will grant over 2,600 wishes annually by year 5 of the combined organization. With up to 6,000 children in Canada facing a critical illness and complex medical needs each year, this is an important step toward our goal of ensuring every eligible wish is granted.
Transat A.T. Inc. is a leading integrated international tourism company specializing in holiday travel. It offers vacation packages, hotel stays and air travel under the Transat and Air Transat brands to some 60 destinations in more than 25 countries in the Americas and...