Air Transat and the Children's Wish Foundation take off in search of Santa Claus to make the dreams of sick kids come true

Air Transat is donating $325,000 to the Children's Wish Foundation
Montreal, December 1, 2010

For the sixth consecutive year, Air Transat and the Children's Wish Foundation joined forces to make the dreams of sick children come true with an exclusive flight bound for the North Pole. Accompanied by elves, fairies and entertainers, approximately 100 children and their parents had a very special mission to accomplish thanks to the participation of the flight crew: bring Santa Claus to Montreal.

The adventure began this morning at the Air Transat check-in counter at Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport when the young travellers and members of their families received their boarding passes for the North Pole. Following a festive party, some 250 travellers took their seats on board an Air Transat Airbus A310. During the 60-minute flight, Santa Claus came on board for the traditional distribution of gifts.

Several personalities also joined in the fun, including Marie-Hélène Thibert, spokesperson for the Children's Wish Foundation, as well as Olympic medallist speed skater Marianne St-Gelais.

“For Air Transat, this event is a source of pride and inspiration at the onset of the Holiday season,” said Allen B. Graham, President and CEO of Air Transat. “Our employees support this cause because it corresponds to their values and those of Air Transat. Thanks to the generosity of our customers and the collaboration of our flight personnel, this year we are happy to donate the sum of $325,000 as part of our Small Change, Big Hearts program. Air Transat has donated a total of $5 million to the Children’s Wish Foundation since 2004.”

For his part, Michael Wright, President of the Children's Wish Foundation Advisory Board, said: “The Foundation is very fortunate to be able to count on the support of Air Transat, a platinum partner for six years now. This event is one of the greatest moments of the year for the Foundation 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 Flight in Search of Santa event is made possible thanks to the generous collaboration of various partners, including Montreal–Trudeau, Toronto Pearson and Vancouver international airports, which ensure the operation runs smoothly, and Air Transat employees, who participate on a volunteer basis.  Similar events were organized today in Toronto and Vancouver.

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 as a way of contributing to the development of a more sustainable mass tourism. These efforts are all about social engagement, environmental stewardship and measures aimed at stimulating a tourist economy that is becoming increasingly responsible.

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 are donated in equal parts to the Children’s Wish Foundation and to SOS Children’s Villages, an international organization that assists abandoned children and orphans in 132 countries. 

About the Children's Wish Foundation

Founded in 1984, the Children’s Wish Foundation’s mission is to realize the dreams of children with life-threatening illnesses. The Foundation has set itself the goal of never turning down an eligible child. Since its beginnings, Children’s Wish has brought to life the wishes of over 16 000 children across Canada, nearly 5000 of whom are from Quebec.

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 25 countries aboard its fleet of Airbus wide-body jets. The company employs approximately 2,000 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.

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