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220 deserving children take off for the first time & meet Father Christmas

UK, MANCHESTER – 5 DECEMBER 2017Thomas Cook Airlines took 220 deserving children and their families on a very special festive flight from Manchester Airport on Monday.... on a mission to find Father Christmas! For most of the children, it was their first time on an aircraft.

Children from a number of charities including Cash for Kids, Reuben’s Retreat and CLIC Sargent* were greeted by check-in staff dressed in Christmas jumpers, sang Christmas songs and carols, had their faces painted and enjoyed festive fun with Father Christmas’ Elves and Princess Elsa.

As the airplane took off for the one hour flight above the Manchester skies, the pilot urged children to cheer as loud as possible to get the engine going, and crew had children cheering and singing as they eagerly searched for Father Christmas out of the window. They then met the man himself on-board and received a special Christmas teddy bear gift donated by Hamleys in Manchester.

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 I’m sure will stay with them for a long time. We are committed to improving children’s lives through our Thomas Cook Children’s Charity, the generosity of staff and holidaymakers means that we are able to bring a lots of smiles to really deserving children and their families."

The Thomas Cook Children's charity raised over £1m to support nominated charities in regions throughout the UK in 2017, which enables three festive flights for hundreds of deserving children in the run up to Christmas. Following the Manchester flight, a further two flights will take off from East Midlands Airport and Belfast International Airport. https://thomascookchildrenscharity.com

ENDS

*Cash for Kids Charity, Reuben’s Retreat, Autism Northumberland, CLIC Sargent, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Clayton Sure Start Children’s Centre, Mount Road Sure Start Children’s Centre, Ashbury Meadow Sure Start, Mount road Sure Start Children’s Centre, Clayton Children's Centre, St James Children’s Centre, Big Life Centre Longsight, Sacred Heart Primary School, All Saints Primary School, St Francis Primary School, Ashbury Meadow Sure Start, Abbey Hey Primary School, Rushbrook Primary School

Notes to Editors:

Thomas Cook Group Airlines, part of Thomas Cook Group, is one of Europe’s leading airlines, consisting of three sun and beach focused leisure airlines: Thomas Cook Airlines UK, Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia and Condor. In spring 2018 the newly-founded sister airline, Thomas Cook Airlines Balearics will join the group in Palma de Majorca. The airlines carry 16.7m passengers per year to more than 160 destinations, generating revenues of £2.8bn. The combined fleet consists of 92 aircraft. More than 9,000 employees in four countries work passionately every day to be the world’s most loved leisure airline.

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