Avinor promises a green Christmas on flights from the UK to visit the land of Santa Claus
Mon 15 Dec 2008 – Avinor, responsible for Norway’s airport and ATC network, has allotted ‘green’ routes through its airspace on flights from the UK to Rovaniemi, Finland, this Christmas period. At the same time, Avinor will help ensure that flights with seriously ill children on board will be given priority clearance to the home of Santa Claus. With around 47 flights in each direction daily at this time of the year, the reductions in distance travelled will result in CO2 savings of around 15-20 tonnes each day.
“Now that Finland has walked off with Santa Claus, we are happy to do our part by facilitating quick transport that does the least possible damage to the climate through Norwegian airspace,” says Avinor CEO Sverre Quale. “We also know that some of the 1,000 Santa Claus flights crossing through our airspace in December are bringing seriously ill children and their parents to the Land of Santa Claus tourist attraction in Finland. For that reason it is important to make travel time as short as possible, and Avinor is happy to make that happen.”
Previously, most of the Santa Claus flights had to fly point-to-point routes, which often took them through Danish airspace on their way up to Finland. International cooperation by Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and the UK has now paved the way for shorter travel routes in Norwegian airspace and on to Finland. The traffic is high enough so as not to cause delays for domestic flights in Norway itself, says Avinor.
With most of the Santa Claus flights taking place during weekends, Avinor has set up weekend shift schedules so that staffing matches the heaviest traffic times.
“So far there are no indications that we will have problems with this year’s ordinary Christmas traffic,” says Sindre Anonsen, Avinor’s Press Chief. “We are committed to getting people quickly and safely home for Christmas.”