Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada
The photos are courtesy of The Canadian Press

Magic in the air with Transat’s annual ‘Flights in Search of Santa’

TORONTO — Air Transat and Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada hosted hundreds of children with a life-threatening diagnosis for a special flight to meet Santa yesterday.

The flights, which took off from Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, were part of Air Transat’s 12th annual Flights in Search of Santa, a joint effort in partnership with Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. For the second year in a row, a flight from Paris carrying some 50 sick children and their families also took off in search of Santa.

Magic in the air with Transat’s annual ‘Flights in Search of Santa’

Onboard the flights Air Transat announced a $98,975 donation to Children’s Wish, which represents the amounts collected over the past year as part of the airline’s ‘Small Change, Big Hearts’ program and other initiatives. Yesterday’s donation is in addition to the more than $5 million raised for Children’s Wish since the inception of the partnership between the two organizations.

“There is truly nothing better than seeing a child smile in wonderment, and we in turn are delighted to bring a little magic into the lives of hundreds of children across Canada and in France,” said Jean-Francois Lemay, President, Air Transat. “The Flights in Search of Santa is at the core of our partnership with The Children’s Wish Foundation and is the Air Transat family’s favourite event of the year.”

The memorable day began at the Air Transat check-in counter at Toronto-Pearson 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.

Magic in the air with Transat’s annual ‘Flights in Search of Santa’

“Children’s Wish Foundation is very fortunate to be able to count on the support of Air Transat, a partner since 2004,” said Chris Kotsopoulos, CEO of The Children’s Wish Foundation. “This event is truly one of the greatest moments of the year for Children’s Wish and for the participating children. We are delighted that Air Transat is here to help us make this unique day possible for these kids, for whom illness is a daily reality.”

The annual Flights in Search of Santa come together with the collaboration of several partners including Montréal-Trudeau, Toronto Pearson, Vancouver International airports and Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport, and the volunteer efforts of Air Transat employees.