Ryanair Santa flights return to Shannon

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

Santa Claus with his elves Jeanette McKee and Fran Minter ahead of Ryanair's Santa flights at Shannon. Picture: Arthur Ellis
HE might carry more baggage than most passengers but Santa Claus will be afforded a warm welcome when he boards a number of Ryanair flights out of Shannon next month.

HE might carry more baggage than most passengers but Santa Claus will be afforded a warm welcome when he boards a number of Ryanair flights out of Shannon next month.

Almost 2,000 people will have the chance to join one of the airline’s seasonal Santa flights - which a Shannon spokesman said would “give the Frozen doll a run for its money as the most sought after Christmas treat for children across the region this year”.

In its second year, the flights were a hugely popular sellout last year having attracted 15,000 applications within three hours for Christmas 2013.

Said Shannon Group CEO Neil Pakey: “Last year was intended as a one-off but we were inundated with requests from parents wanting us to do it again this year. We are delighted that Ryanair are partnering with us once again, so it’s lift-off for Operation Santa. The tricky bit of the operation is, of course, making sure the aircraft gets to the right speed for Santa to transfer from his sleigh, but all being well this should go smoothly.”

A total of 10 Santa flights will operate out of Shannon on December 13 and 14, with Santa transferring from his sleigh to board the aircraft some 15,000 feet above sea level during the 40-minute journeys. A nominal fee of €10 per booking applies with the proceeds going to two local children’s charities, St Gabriel’s School in Dooradoyle and Clare Crusaders.

Seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis when booking opens this Friday, November 28 at 2pm on the Shannon Airport website (www.shannonairport.ie).

Booking can be made online only and is confined to a maximum of six, with two adults only among the six to ensure as many children as possible get to enjoy the magic of Christmas at 15,000 feet.