Santa set to jet in to Shannon Airport again this year

Santa set to jet in to Shannon Airport again this year

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Photo: Arthur Ellis

Short of Christmas Eve itself, Santa’s busiest day in the run up to December 25th is set again for Shannon Airport as the big man jets in for his fifth successive annual Santa Flights on December 2nd and 3rd.

Over 2,000 children and their parents/guardians will be carried into the skies to meet Santa 15,000ft above sea level in what has now become the most anticipated event for children across the region aside from the big day itself.

The excitement will be palpable and noise deafening as the delight fills the Shannon terminal and skies above for a very special two day treat for children from across the country.

To raise even more funds for the Shannon Group charities this year, the airport is putting a new lottery system in place, to replace the €9.99 charge per seat last year.  A €1 per seat application fee 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 & Hospice, Ennis and Home Share Clare.

Pictured on board with Santa are his Elves Rachel Egan and Jeanette McKee – Photo: Arthur Ellis.

The lottery system goes live on Wednesday next, 15th November at 12 noon with details on how to enter the lottery available on the Shannon Airport Facebook page, the airport’s twitter account and on their website www.shannonairport.ie. The lottery will close on Monday 20th at 3pm and the winners will be notified by text on Wednesday 22nd November.

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.

Said 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.”

Said Shannon Airport Managing Director Andrew Murphy: “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.”

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick.

Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station’s flagship current affairs programme.

He was also the station’s News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day.

As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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