We flew 220 deserving children and their families on a very special festive flight above the Manchester skies.… their mission? to find Santa’s Sleigh with Thomas Cook Airlines and the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity.
This year we once again gave our customers a chance to nominate a child in need they know that really deserves a treat this Christmas. Kids put forward from charities including Cash for Kids and Reuben’s Retreat, as well as those nominated by Thomas Cook colleagues and customers, were greeted by Thomas Cook Airlines check-in staff in Christmas jumpers and hats. For many of the children taking part, it was their very first time on an airplane!
There was a magical festive atmosphere at check-in, with carols, face painting and a little help from volunteers, an airport choir and the Christmas Teddy Bear and Elves from Hamley’s.
The fantastic Hits Radio breakfast team, Gemma Atkinson, Gethin Jones and Dave Vitty also joined in the fun as part of their Mission Christmas campaign with Cash for Kids charity based in Manchester.
As the airplane took off for a one-hour festive flight, the pilot urged children to cheer as loud as possible to get the engine started, and cabin crew had children cheering and singing as they searched for Santa out of the window. The excitement reached its peak when Santa landed his sleigh on the roof of the plane and joined the children on board for presents, photographs and some festive music.
After the plane landed, the children were treated to more presents and a personal chat with Santa himself.
Aoife McDonogh from the Thomas Cook Children’s Charity said “It was a magical day for all involved. For many, this was their very first time on an aircraft and it is fantastic to be able to create memories that will stay with them for a long time. The generosity of staff and holidaymakers means that we are able to bring a lots of smiles to really deserving children and their families.”
Michelle Williamson, Charity Manager at Hits Radio Cash for Kids said “Cash for Kids is so happy to be involved again this year as part of our Mission Christmas campaign. It’s our mission to give a helping hand to disadvantaged and disabled children in Greater Manchester all year round and it’s fantastic to be able to give children who would never get to experience anything like this, the opportunity to have a magical time!”
The Thomas Cook Children’s charity has raised over £900,000 to support nominated charities in regions throughout the UK in 2018, and donations are welcome here.