Santa to jet in as 2,000 take to the skies above Shannon Airport

Joanna The Elf and Elmo lead the lucky ones to the Departure Gate at Shannon Airport last year Picture: Arthur Ellis

Joanna The Elf and Elmo lead the lucky ones to the Departure Gate at Shannon Airport last year Picture: Arthur Ellis

SHANNON’S 2017 Santa Flights are on schedule and ready for booking, the airport has confirmed.

The big man himself will jet in for the fifth successive annual Santa Flights on December 2 and 3 as over 2,000 children and their parents and guardians are carried into the skies to meet him 15,000 feet above sea level.

The excitement will be palpable for the most anticipated event for children across the region aside from the big day itself.

Shannon Airport managing director Andrew Murphy said: “Christmas is one of our busiest periods of the year and it’s a wonderful time to be working at an airport as you see so much emotion unfold. But for excitement, no other day beats our Santa Flights.

“There’s incredible excitement, noise and it’s a real logistical challenge for our staff to process so many children across two days but they rise to it brilliantly each year and deserve great credit for that. It simply wouldn’t be possible without their massive effort over two days but it’s so worth it in the end.”

To raise even more funds for the Shannon Group charities this year, the airport is putting a new lottery system in place. Gone is the €9.99 charge per seat used last year and in its place is a €1 per seat application fee that will apply to enter this year’s lottery and if you win the lottery no other charges will apply.

All profits raised from the event will go to Shannon Group’s designated charities for 2017, the Cahercalla Community Hospital and Hospice, Ennis and Home Share Clare.

The lottery system goes live this Wednesday, November 15 at 12noon and will close at 3pm on Monday, November 30.  Winners will be notified by text on Wednesday, November 22. See www.shannonairport.ie for more.

The event will be staffed and supported by teams from across Shannon Group companies – Shannon Airport, Shannon Heritage, Shannon Commercial Properties and the International Aviation Services Centre (IASC) – with the excitement being raised from the off at the airport as check-in will be manned by Mrs Claus and her team. 

Children will also be treated to a range of Christmas activities - dancing elves, games and other treats - in the transit lounge to help them while away the final minutes before boarding.

Bookings are confined to a maximum of six but with the airport determined to ensure as many children as possible avail of the very special Christmas treat, a maximum of two adults will be allowed with any group of six.  No child will be allowed on their own without an adult.

Matthew Thomas, Shannon Group CEO: “This is a very special Christmas event for us. We get huge support from the region and across Ireland every year and convincing Santa to come here and jump on board flights mid-air is our way of saying thank you.  It’s a special time of year and we’re delighted to be able to put such huge smiles on so many children’s faces.”