- First Dreams Take Flight trip departing Toronto since 2019
- Third flight of 2023 taking off from across Canada
- Every year, Air Canada and Dreams Take Flight take children facing different challenges on the trip-of-a-lifetime
MONTREAL, May 2, 2023 /CNW/ - Early this morning, Air Canada and Dreams Take Flight transported a plane load of children from Toronto to the happiest place on earth. The plane was carrying many children who were meant to experience the once-in-a-lifetime trip in 2020 but were unable to due to the global pandemic. With the support of numerous Air Canada employee volunteers, the Air Canada Foundation and the Dreams Take Flight organization, the trip was finally able to take place, making the wishes of 126 kids come true. Eight flights operate annually, providing over 1000 children each year with an unforgettable day at a theme park in Florida or California.
Departing from Pearson International Airport, the children were accompanied by a crew of current and retired Air Canada employee volunteers dedicated to providing a magical experience for those onboard. By generously donating their time, pilots, flight attendants, maintenance engineers, and numerous other employees on the ground and behind the scenes offer children facing mental, physical, or social adversity the chance to take a break from their everyday to make memories and see new possibilities.
"After a wait of three years, we are so excited to finally fly to Orlando with our group of children who have been patiently waiting since 2020 for their magical day", said Julie Mailhot, President of Dreams Take Flight Toronto. "Since we had to cancel our flight in April 2020, we kept in touch with each child, including sending them a Christmas card and gift each year, to remind them that we had not forgotten about them."
"It is so heartwarming to see this group of deserving children finally get their special day," said Valerie Durand, Spokesperson for the Air Canada Foundation. "Everyone has worked extremely hard to bring this trip to life, ensuring these kids go home with magical memories to last a lifetime. Children who have been on previous Dreams flights have told us what a difference the experience has made for them, giving them hope for the future. We're very proud to have played a part in supporting Dreams Take Flight Toronto through this long-awaited adventure."
Five more flights from across Canada will depart from Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa throughout 2023.
Over the past 30 years, Air Canada, as exclusive carrier and now with the support of the Air Canada Foundation, has flown more than forty thousand children on Dreams Take Flight trips.
Visit dreamstakeflight.ca to donate or volunteer.
Dreams Take Flight is a national non-profit organization dedicated to providing the trip of a lifetime to children who may be physically, mentally or socially challenged. With the aid of Air Canada, the Air Canada Foundation and other national and local organizations and businesses, money is raised to fund the program in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax. Funds not required for its primary purpose can be gifted by Dreams Take Flight to other registered charities that benefit physically, mentally or socially challenged children and are within the policies adopted by Dreams Take Flight Canada. The first Dreams Take Flight station was founded in Toronto in 1989. Since then, the organization has taken over 40,000 special children to Florida and California.
The Air Canada Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on the health and well-being of children and youth, was launched in 2012. It offers both financial and in-kind support to Canadian-registered charities. Core programs include the Hospital Transportation Program, which redistributes Aeroplan points to 15 pediatric hospitals across Canada, enabling sick children to access the medical care they need away from home. The Air Canada Foundation, in collaboration with the airline, also engages directly in fundraising activities, such as the Every Bit Counts program, which encourages customers to donate loose change of all denominations on board flights or through collection containers available in Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounges. The Foundation also offers continued support to major health-related causes that benefit Canadians and is an active participant in international humanitarian relief activity as the need arises. For more information about the Air Canada Foundation, please read the 2020-21 impact report or the Air Canada's 2021 Corporate Sustainability report available at www.aircanada.com/citizensoftheworld.
Air Canada is Canada's largest airline, the country's flag carrier and a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada provides scheduled service directly to more than 180 airports in Canada, the United States and Internationally on six continents. It holds a Four-Star ranking from Skytrax. Air Canada's Aeroplan program is Canada's premier travel loyalty program, where members can earn or redeem points on the world's largest airline partner network of 45 airlines, plus through an extensive range of merchandise, hotel and car rental rewards. Its freight division, Air Canada Cargo, provides air freight lift and connectivity to hundreds of destinations across six continents using Air Canada's passenger and freighter aircraft. Air Canada has committed to a net zero emissions goal from all global operations by 2050. Air Canada shares are publicly traded on the TSX in Canada and the OCTQX in the US.
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SOURCE Air Canada