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Aviation

SAS Julefly - The Christmas flight for charity

What started out as a PR exercise has become a lifelong project. Retired flight captain Karsten Midtun will soon be taking off for Tallinn, Estonia, for the twenty-eighth time, so that SAS Julefly (Christmas flight) can once again bring a little yuletide joy to the needy folks of the Kopli district.

Retired flight captain Karsten Midtun has been running the charity for twenty-eighth years.The aid parcels arrive on a fully laden SAS Boeing 737 and a total of five trucks, and they make life a little easier for the very poorest residents of Tallinn for the coming year. In total, 500 families will be given food, clothing and personal hygiene items, with 600 people invited to a Christmas party. SAS Julefly also helps out an Estonian children’s home.

“We help to ease the finances of the children’s home by providing them with food and clothing, so they can invest their money in their activities instead,” says Karsten Midtun.

He has been running this project for SAS since 1986. What started out as a PR exercise soon turned into a genuine commitment once Karsten had made his first visit to the children’s home. This was during the Soviet era and it was, as he describes it, “too hellish for words”.

Today there are still people in Kopli who are without water and electricity, and the socio-economic conditions for those who live here are tough.

Having contact with the children’s home has proved invaluable; they have helped SAS Julefly to find a reliable distributor, who divides up the aid parcels and sends clothing and food to other institutions in need.

How you can help

Order the special issue book on SAS Julefly by e-mailing [email protected].
SAS employees can choose to donate some of their December salary, or drop off clothing or personal hygiene items, such as shampoo or toothbrushes, in the crew rooms at airports in Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

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The air crew provide their services free of charge, airport charges are waived, as are all commercial charges, while Statoil donates the fuel for this unique SAS flight. This means that all donations end up in the right place.

“The children are so happy; this is something they have been looking forward to for a long time. The adults are awe-struck that we care about them.”

So far SAS has been able to make Christmas special for children in Poland, Estonia and Latvia.

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