HomeTravel NewsFinnair Celebrates 40 Years as 'Official Airline of Santa Claus'

Finnair Celebrates 40 Years as ‘Official Airline of Santa Claus’

Finnair is celebrating 40 years as the ‘Official Airline of Santa Claus’ this December.

The flag carrier’s partnership with Finland’s most famous resident started in 1983, when Finnair flew its first direct flight from Helsinki to Tokyo via the North Pole – a route which now operates once again after nearly 30 years.

This winter, Finnair and The Santa Claus Foundation are flying the world’s most famous gift-giver from his home in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland, to seven Finnair destinations across Asia: Shanghai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Singapore, and Delhi.

The annual tradition sees Santa visiting local children, preschools, kindergartens and hospitals in countries around the globe, delivering presents and Christmas magic.

Anssi Partanen, Finnair Market Director Europe, said: “Finnair’s partnership with Santa Claus reminds us that the true magic of Christmas is in giving and ensuring every child gets to experience the warmth and wonder of the festive season.

“For forty years Finnair has helped make dreams come true for children around the world and we look forward to touching the hearts of countless more children and adults who still embrace the magic of Christmas.”

Jari Ahjoharju, Santa Foundation CEO, said: “The excitement is palpable when Santa touches down. People of all ages eagerly gather to seize a cherished photo opportunity with the authentic Finnish Santa Claus recognised by his bushy long beard and timeless, friendly and kind looking essence.

“Each Christmas, it fills us with pride to remind the world that Santa hails from the enchanting land of Finland. Spreading that message is a cherished part of our mission. Equally significant is the charity work we undertake with children.”

Today, the airline continues to support Santa in his work to spread Christmas cheer through its charity partner, The Santa Claus Foundation. Established in 2000, Claus’ foundation is dedicated to improving children’s well-being around the world.

Each Christmas, the Finnish airline proudly flies Santa Claus from his home in the Arctic Circle to destinations around the world, including China, Singapore and Japan, giving those around the world a chance to feel the magic of Christmas at home.

Those looking to take a trip to Lapland, and see the big man himself, can enjoy year-round flights to a range of airports in the heart of Lapland, including Rovaniemi – The Official Hometown of Santa Claus.

Geoff Percival
Geoff Percival
Geoff has worked in business, news, consumer and travel journalism for more than 25 years; having worked for and contributed to the likes of The Irish Examiner, Business & Finance, Business Plus, The Sunday Times, The Irish News, Senior Times, and The Sunday Tribune.

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