Tui Airways has made Christmas dreams come true for a children’s charity left in the lurch after the collapse of Thomas Cook.
When You Wish Upon a Star, which grants the wishes of children living with life-threatening illnesses, was due to fly 35 youngsters and their families to Lapland to meet Santa after securing a charter with Thomas Cook Airlines.
However, when Cook collapsed in September the Nottingham-based charity was in need of help to get the dream trip off the ground.
Tui came to the rescue, stepping in to transport the children and allow them to swap hospital beds for sleigh rides.
Flying from East Midlands airport earlier this month, the group were treated to a boarding gate party with face painting and a magician and later flew on an aircraft kitted out with festive decorations.
The aircraft wasn’t the only thing dressed up for the occasion though, as Tui staff donned Christmas jumpers and bauble earrings.
Tui crew and staff all volunteered to be a part of the event and were joined by some new recruits in the form of Emmerdale actors Natalie Robb, Ash Palmisciano and Jonny McPherson and charity patron and TV personality Jeremy Spake.
Dawn Wilson, Tui Airways managing director, said the airline was “extremely proud” to support When You Wish Upon a Star’s work.
“We know how much this trip means to the families and were delighted that we could help make it possible for them to fly to Lapland.”
Karen Martt, general manager When You Wish Upon a Star, said the charity was “extremely grateful” to Tui for “coming to the rescue” following Cook’s demise.
“|t is a dream for most of the children to meet Santa at his home and to have the amazing opportunity to ride on the huskies, reindeers and sledging in the snow. Magical memories are made by all the families,” she said.