Santa takes flight from Shannon

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Christmas Elves, Jeanette McKee and Fran Minter pictured with the man himself on the Santa flight at Shannon Airport last year.
Christmas elves Jeanette McKee and Fran Minter with the man himself on last year’s Santa flight.

The most sought after ticket for Christmas in the Shannon Airport catchment area is back again this year with confirmation that the Santa Flights are set to return again.

Shannon Airport has today announced that over 2,200 seats will be made available for children (and guardians) to meet Santa on Saturday and Sunday December 12 and 13 some 15,000 ft above sea level.

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The flights are back by enormous demand and the lucky ticket holders will be selected by lottery from forms submitted up to the deadline of November 24. The forms are already available for downloading on the Shannon Airport website www.shannonairport.ie

The flights are a Shannon Airport initiative and designed as a thank-you for the support the airport has received over the past 12 months. They were first introduced two years ago to mark the end of the airport’s first year as an independent entity but have proven so popular that they have returned each year since.

Some 40 seats are being set aside for a charity, school or community group and a special lottery will be held for these.

Bookings are confined to a maximum of six, with two adults only among the six to ensure as many children as possible get to enjoy the special Christmas experience.

The magic begins for children on arrival, with festive activity on hand to welcome the special guests, with the transit lounge transformed into a winter playground, with Mrs Claus, elves and games. There will be entertainment throughout the day and a little sweet treat for each child after their Santa Flight.

Announcing the popular return of the Santa Flights, Shannon Group CEO Neil Pakey said, “Our Santa Flights like other years will be hugely sought after and are only made possible by our staff, who give up their Saturday and Sunday to make sure everything runs smoothly.  It is a time of the year to say thank-you and we are delighted that it is proving such a hit.”

Said Shannon Airport Director of Operations, Niall Maloney:  “It’s a special treat and the nominal fee of just €9.99 per seat (infants are free) is to help us, in part, raise money for our Shannon Group charity partners. It’s probably one of the best priced Santa Claus experiences; where else would you get to meet up with Santa at 15,000 feet? We are grateful to our staff volunteer who give their time over the two days and the support of partners at Swissport to make this a special event.

“We arrange the flights in the knowledge that Santa is hovering overhead on these exact dates, doing his practise flights in the area to help him be ready for the 25th.   However, he is very generous with his time and happy to drop by and check in on the children lucky enough to be on board.”