Santa will not be taking off from Southend Airport this year - with the annual flights for children being cancelled.

Southend Airport has today confirmed its popular festive event will not be held due to Covid-19.

However, the airport team also confirmed that Santa will visit as usual on Christmas eve.

The annual event sees flights with Santa and his band of elves as cabin crew look after and entertain hundreds of families with carol singing and games.

Glyn Jones, CEO of London Southend Airport said, “Health professionals have confirmed that whilst Santa Claus is considered high risk, factors such as speed during his deliveries mean that he cannot contract covid.”

“The Air Traffic Control team have made contact to discuss initial flight paths with Santa for 24 December and we are pleased to confirm that not only will he visit as usual, due to the reduced flight movements from passenger operations this year, he will actually complete his deliveries in record time”

The airport has supported annual Santa flights for over 5 years, raising vital funds for local charities with the support of easyJet, PMS International, and other local businesses.

Mr Jones added: “During this challenging year charities are finding it hard to complete their usual fund-raising events and activities. Whilst we cannot support the Santa flights, we are looking to help raise vital funds in other creative ways – watch this space!”

The airport is keeping its cards close to its chest for now, but the charity committee will select local charities who have made applications for funding throughout the year to benefit from fundraising efforts.