Air Canada and “Dreams Take Flight”: A Journey of a lifetime

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Air Canada has joined forces with Dreams Take Flight Canada, a charitable organization, to provide an extraordinary adventure for nearly 120 deserving children. The heartwarming partnership, marked as the fifth flight of this year's program, took these children from Vancouver to the enchanting world of Disneyland in California.

“Dreams Take Flight”: A program with a noble mission

Dreams Take Flight Canada, established in 1989, is a charity organization with a noble mission: to create unforgettable experiences for deserving children by taking them to Walt Disney World or Disneyland. While the program relies on community contributions for planning and fundraising, it often finds support from Air Canada to sponsor the flights. However, the ongoing pandemic led to a temporary suspension of the Dreams Take Flight program, making this recent journey a particularly poignant occasion.

On October 18th, after a three-year hiatus, Air Canada and Dreams Take Flight joined hands to offer nearly 120 deserving children a journey of a lifetime. These children came from various organizations, including the British Columbia Children's Hospital, Children's Organ Transplant Society, and several school groups from the lower mainland of Vancouver.

A heartwarming departure with Air Canada

The day began with boundless excitement as an Airbus A321-200, operating as Air Canada flight AC 7181, departed from Vancouver International Airport at 06:22. Onboard were the 119 children, eager for the magical adventure that awaited them.

What made this journey even more special was the incredible team of volunteers from Air Canada. Comprising current and former employees from various positions, including flight and cabin crew members, maintenance engineers, and ground staff, they generously devoted their time to ensure a comfortable and enchanting experience for the children.

Melissa Hance, President of Dreams Take Flight Vancouver, expressed her gratitude, saying, "Special needs don't have to be physical; these past few years have had a major mental effect on the world, and we are excited to make memories for special kids for just one magical day. Thanks to the support of the Air Canada Foundation, volunteers, employees, YVR, and all our national and local sponsors, a big Warm West Coast Thank you!"

“Dreams Take Flight”: Anticipated return after three years

The return of the Dreams Take Flight program in collaboration with Air Canada was eagerly awaited, given that the last flight took place in 2019. The pandemic created disruptions and led to the postponement and, ultimately, the cancellation of planned trips for the Dreams Take Flight program from various Canadian cities.

The program typically transports hundreds of deserving children to the enchanting theme parks, making the cancellations and three-year hiatus a significant disappointment for these young passengers. Fortunately, 2023 has witnessed the program's return in certain cities, such as Winnipeg to Florida, Halifax to Orlando in April, Toronto to Florida earlier in May, Edmonton to California in September, and the most recent one from Vancouver.

Dreams Take Flight operates from bases in Calgary, Ottawa, and Montreal, and these locations will soon witness Air Canada aircraft carrying excited children to either Florida or California. Valeria Durand, a spokesperson for the Air Canada Foundation, expressed her joy, stating, "Three more flights from across Canada are planned for this year. Seeing these deserving children finally get their special day brings me joy. The dedication of everyone involved in making this trip happen has ensured that the children go home with memories that they will cherish forever."

In a time when economic pressures can be overwhelming, it's heartwarming to witness airlines like Air Canada continue their commitment to ensuring that hundreds of children are selected for these magical trips. Whether it's Disneyland in California or the enchanting theme parks in Florida, such experiences create cherished memories that last a lifetime, bringing joy and inspiration to these deserving children.

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