*Darragh Quinlan (8) and his sister Rebecca (4) from Cahir Co Tipperary all set for departure during the Shannon Airport Santa Flights 2019. Photograph: Arthur Ellis.
More than 2,000 children and their parents turned Shannon Airport into a hive of excitement as they boarded the annual Santa Flights this weekend.
Families from all four provinces travelled to Shannon Airport on Saturday and Sunday to take their seats on a very special flight going 15,000ft above sea-level. Several of those onboard made it an overnight stay in the Mid-West region with families travelling from Fermanagh, Mayo, Sligo, Dublin and Kerry.
On arrival at the two day event children were greeted by Santa’s helpers and in the hour before taking their seat on the aircraft, festive fun, games and dancing helped pass the time.
“It’s brilliant fun and the noise is deafening,” said Managing Director of Shannon Airport Andrew Murphy. “The children are already well buzzed by all the fun and games and when Santa arrives on board high up in the skies, the reaction is fantastic.
“We’ve been doing this now for seven years and it’s our way of saying thank you to the public for their support. Shannon is a special place at Christmas as so may return home for the festive season but it really begins for us this weekend. Our staff put a huge effort in and they’ll be exhausted by the time today finishes after two days of it but it’s well worth it. It’s one of our favourite weekends of the year and this is highlighted by the fact that the event helps to raise money for our Shannon Group charities for 2019, Limerick Suicide Watch and Irish Cancer Society.”