Montreal, December 16, 2008
It's become a Ho-Ho-Holiday tradition! This afternoon, hundreds of lucky children got to meet Santa Claus at an
altitude of more than 8,000 meters during a special flight organized by Air Transat and the Children's Wish Foundation. Three exclusive flights, departing from Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, gave the children an unforgettable experience.
The adventure began in the morning, as the children and their families arrived at the Air Transat counter to collect their boarding passes for the North Pole. After a most colourful celebration attended by a happy gang of elves, the approximately 250 passengers climbed aboard an Air Transat Airbus A310. During the 90-minute flight, Santa Claus himself appeared and, in keeping with tradition, handed out presents to the excited youngsters.
Allen B. Graham, Air Transat's President and Chief Executive Officer, took the opportunity to give $1M to the Children's Wish Foundation, an amount raised in part by the Change for Kids program, which collects foreign or Canadian currency from passengers on their return flights from holiday destinations. Air Transat has been associated with the Foundation since 2004 and has donated more than $3M to date.
"The Foundation is fortunate indeed to count on the support of Air Transat, a platinum partner for four years now," said Michael Wright, President of the National Board of the Children's Wish Foundation of Canada. "This event is one of the great moments of the year for the Foundation and for the children taking part-their eyes absolutely sparkle with joy and wonder. We are delighted that Air Transat is there to help us make this unique day possible for these kids, for whom illness is a daily struggle."
"It is entirely natural for Air Transat to support the work of the Children's Wish Foundation and to be its preferred partner," Mr. Graham added. "Our employees have chosen to champion this cause because it speaks to their values and those of Air Transat. They invest time and effort to help make these children's dreams come true. Our customers' contribution is also very important, and we thank them for their outstanding generosity."
The Flight in Search of Santa event was also made possible thanks to the generous collaboration of several partners, including Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver international airports, which made logistical arrangements with respect to their infrastructures, as well as Air Transat employees, who participated on a volunteer basis.
About the Children's Wish Foundation
The Children's Wish Foundation of Canada is a national, grassroots organization dedicated to providing a once in a lifetime experience for children diagnosed with high-risk, life threatening illnesses. The Foundation is the only all-Canadian organization with offices from coast to coast granting wishes for these special children. The standard of personal care and attention given to each wish sets the Foundation apart from any other organization. The Children's Wish Foundation takes pride in the fact that it has never refused an eligible child.
About Air Transat
Air Transat is Canada’s leading holiday travel airline. It carries some 2.5 million passengers annually to nearly 60 destinations in 25 countries. Air Transat has a fleet of 18 Airbus A330s and A310s. The company employs approximately 2,000 people. Air Transat is a subsidiary of Transat A.T. Inc., an integrated international tour operator with more than 60 destination countries and that distributes products in over 50 countries.