Air New Zealand is planning to turn one of its 777-200ER aircraft into a unique Christmas “sleigh” for the children of Christchurch.
The airline will deck out its long-haul aircraft with Christmas cheer and gift it to the kids of Christchurch to experience a special scenic flight down to the majestic Aoraki Mt Cook area and back.
The “Christmas Cheer in the Air” service will carry around 150 young Cantabrians accompanied by a parent or guardian on the one-hour round trip.
Air New Zealand is working with several media partners including The Press, Classic Hits and Newstalk ZB Christchurch to help gift the seats to families in Canterbury, with promotions starting on Monday 12 December
Energy supplier Z is helping out by providing the fuel while Christchurch International Airport is waiving landing fees.
Air New Zealand’s Chief Pilot David Morgan says the 777-200ER will be on a day’s layover in Christchurch so the airline wanted to grab the opportunity to do something special for the community.
“What immediately sprung to mind was a fun and unique flight experience that we could offer to the kids of Canterbury given the incredibly tough year they’ve just been through. With Christmas just around the corner it felt like a special gift that we could offer.
“The immediate support for the flight from the Canterbury community has been fantastic with our suppliers and local media outlets jumping in boots and all to make it happen.”
The flight will depart from Air New Zealand’s Technical Operations base near Christchurch airport on Tuesday 20 December at 12.45pm.
Captain Morgan will pilot the special service and those travelling on the flight will also have the rare opportunity to accompany him on his pre-flight walk around the aircraft.
As well as opportunities to enter competitions for a seat on the flight through The Press, Classic Hits and Newstalk ZB Christchurch, Air New Zealand will also fill the Business Premier cabin at the front of the aircraft with children selected by Koru Care.
“We’re planning to make it a really memorable experience for the kids involved and hope also to have some familiar faces make an appearance during the festivities,” says Captain Morgan.