Air Canada and Dreams Take Flight returned to the skies for the first time since 2020 on Wednesday (April 12) with a plane load of children from Winnipeg to Florida to experience a trip-of-a-lifetime.
Thanks to generous volunteers, many Air Canada employees and retirees, the support of the Air Canada Foundation and the work by the Dreams Take Flight organization, eight flights will operate this year, making dreams come true for an estimated 1000 children with an unforgettable day at a theme park in Florida or California.
The flight from Winnipeg left in the early hours of the morning and transported 110 kids to Orlando, accompanied by a crew of Air Canada employee volunteers focused on creating the most magical experience possible.
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.
"These are children, who would likely never be able to take this trip if it were not for our program and the planes, would never get off the ground if it were not for our main sponsors and donors, like the Air Canada Foundation", said Bev Watson, president of Dreams Take Flight Canada. "Volunteers from Air Canada, family and friends, as well as the general public spend countless hours to ensure everything is done in preparation for each flight."
"As a Foundation focused on the health and well-being of children, it is a privilege to work alongside Dreams Take Flight and Air Canada employees to help make this very special experience a reality for these children, letting them be kids for the day," added Valerie Durand, spokesperson for the Air Canada Foundation. "A heartfelt thank you to each and every volunteer and supporter who helps makes this experience possible."
Seven additional flights from across Canada will depart from Halifax, Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary, Montreal and Ottawa throughout 2023.
Dreams Take Flight is a non-profit primarily made up of current and retired Air Canada employees and retirees who volunteer to make these flights a reality.
Over the past 30 years, Air Canada, as exclusive carrier and now through the Air Canada Foundation, has flown more than forty thousand children on Dreams Take Flight trips.
Visit dreamstakeflight.ca to donate or volunteer.