More than 15,000 people applied for just 3,000 free seats for children on a series of Santa flights from Shannon Airport over the next two weekends.
Shannon Airport and Ryanair had offered 3,000 children, along with 1,500 accompanying adults, the opportunity to secure seats on a series of 40-minute flights.
However, the offer was “massively oversubscribed within hours” after email and phonelines opened at 3pm on Tuesday. Ryanair confirmed they received over 15,000 applications for the free seats.
The initiative was launched to celebrate the recent agreement between the airport and Ryanair that will see eight new routes operate from the airport next April, which will deliver an extra 300,000 passengers over a full year.
Six flights will take off from Shannon on both Saturday and Sunday and again next weekend and at 15,000ft, Santa himself will hop on board to meet the children.
Neil Pakey, Shannon Airport CEO said: “We are still counting but we believe we had applications for up to 15,000 seats within three hours of the emails and phonelines opening.
“That’s an incredible amount of applications in such a short timeframe and it shows the magic of Christmas and, indeed, of flying. This will put a smile on many, many young faces, including special needs children for whom we have a number of seats designated.”
However, there is still an opportunity for children to get a seat on one of the flights, as a number have been reserved for a draw for those who have been unsuccessful so far.
“We have closed our phonelines as they were jammed within minutes of the offer going live but we are keeping our email system open, however, for those who still want to be in the hat for our draw,” Mr Pakey said.
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