Twas the night before Christmas, and Santa has been cleared for takeoff. He expects clear skies and no operational issues this evening, as he has been preparing for this trip for days. 364 days to be exact.
Around the world, excitement is in the air in anticipation, because Santa Claus is coming to town!
But it has been a hectic last couple weeks preparing for the trip. His trusted air charter broker was busy at work finalizing all the flight logistics. You can only imagine all the boxes that had to get checked for this around-the-world charter flight.
With millions of homes to visit around the world in a single night, a complex logistical plan has to be put together to ensure that Santa travels as efficiently as possible, minimizing the travel time between houses and ensuring he had enough time at each stop for his deliveries.
For most group charter flights, plans like this are designed to maximize efficiencies and save costs. This isn't so much about cost savings, Santa has advised to "spare no expense." With a lot of stops and deliveries, there just simply is not a lot of time to do it. An efficient route is the only way for Santa to get everything done in a single night.
Can I even land here?
It is a good thing that we recently wrote about this topic. We are well versed on runways, as we are frequently asked by our partners 'why can't we land at this airport'? As you may know, there are specific runway requirements for different types of aircraft. With houses of different sizes, materials, at different elevations, and with different levels of access to the chimney, millions of approvals were required to ensure that Santa's sleigh could land at each house.
Fortunately, by what we can only describe as magic, Santa's sleigh is equipped to take off and land at every house in the world, even the smallest rooftops.
After Santa deboards from his Sleigh, however, he does need to be careful...as roof tops may be slick.
You would think that with this being an annual trip, Santa would know the drill.
When he submitted one name for the manifest, we knew we were climbing up hill.
"But Santa, will you be traveling with any animals this year?"
We then shared changes in regulations for flying with the Reindeer.
He replied, "certainly, the Reindeer can travel with us,
They provide assistance and guidance on a foggy Christmas."
"Also, Santa, don't forget, we need a list of all of your aliases, you see."
"Saint Nicholas, Kris Kringle", he said. "There are more...but you remember me."
Fortunately, we maintain close relationships with the DOT and TSA,
Santa and the Reindeer received all approvals required in just a single day.
As anybody that has coordinated a sports air charter knows, it is not just about who is traveling with the group, but what equipment you are bringing. Understanding the quantity and size of luggage is critical in determining if the aircraft has enough storage space and ensuring that it meets payload requirements.
"This is going to be a challenge," Santa advised. He put the elves to work and they compiled the most comprehensive equipment list we have ever seen. And that is also how we got a sneak peak at the gifts for every child around the world.
Other In-Flight Services
As many of our charter flight clients know, it is those custom add-ons that can make a charter flight special.
With the newest CD in the sled (no, not that kind of CD, this is a special designed Cookie/Cocoa Dispenser, made popular in The Santa Claus), fresh baked chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa are provided in flight. At each FBO, Santa can expect the usual - milk and cookies with Sleigh-side pickup. Oh, and carrots for the Reindeer.
Santa is also all about his brand. Fortunately, he is relatively easy to please. Just find any over-the-counter Santa Claus napkins and plates and you are covered.
While we have discussed various flight tracking services in the past, the official NORAD Santa Tracker will be best this evening. Good thing Santa works with an air charter broker that offers 24/7/365 service to ensure everything goes smoothly for his trip this evening.
No doubt, this is the most complex and the most important charter flight.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.