Published on : Wednesday, December 11, 2013
On a very special flight bound for the North Pole, at a cruising altitude of 8,000 metres, about a hundred sick children joined forces with Air Transat and the Children’s Wish Foundation today to bring Santa Claus back to Montreal. Air Transat took the opportunity to turn over $309,605 to the Foundation, representing amounts collected over the past year as part of the carrier’s Small Change, Big Hearts program and other activities.
The adventure began in the morning at the Air Transat check-in counter at Montréal-Trudeau airport, as the approximately 250 invited passengers received their boarding passes. During the 90-minute flight, joyful cries were heard as Santa Claus made a surprise appearance to hand out presents to the wide-eyed children. A number of celebrities as well as Santa’s elves were also on board for the festivities.
“For Air Transat, organizing this event with the Children’s Wish Foundation, with the Holidays just around the corner, has become a real tradition. It is very special to our employees and is an important part of our corporate responsibility initiatives,” said Jean-Francois Lemay, General Manager, Air Transat. “We’re proud to play a part in the well-being of young children for whom illness is a daily struggle. I would like to warmly thank our customers for their generosity, and our flight crews for their co-operation and their enthusiasm. Thanks to them, we have donated more than 5 million dollars to the Foundation since our partnership was established in 2004.”
For her part, Judith Dontigny, interim Director for the Children’s Wish Foundation in Montreal, said: “Creating magic, memorable moments is at the heart of the Children’s Wish Foundation’s mission. With this wonderful flight, made possible by Air Transat, we provide an unforgettable experience for children and their family members who are deeply affected by illness. Initiatives by partners like Air Transat bring hope to sick children and allow us to fulfil our mission. Air Transat has been a platinum partner of the Foundation for nine years now, and we couldn’t be more grateful for its help.”
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 Calgary International airports. Similar flights took off today from Toronto and Calgary.
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.
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