If there’s one time of the year that lends itself to aviation marketing and lots of goodwill, it’s Christmas. 2016 has been no exception. Here’s a look at what international airlines and airports did this festive season to make the lives of their customers or those less fortunate a little brighter.

On the ground:

Changi Airport hosted a Pokemon Christmas parade and village. It’s part of a larger Pokemon installation.


Heathrow Airport was visited by teddy bear seniors. A simple concept executed well. It also ties in nicely with their customised welcome home banner campaign.


Edinburgh Airport surprised passengers with Christmas fairies and gifts.


American Airlines took us behind the scenes at ORD as they set up terminal theming.


Bristol Airport took to social with a virtual gifts campaign.

In the air:

Ryanair understands that sometimes Christmas with the family isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Nicely done.


WestJet’s Christmas Miracle campaign has been going for around three years and the most recent instalment profiled the town of Fort McMurray which suffered from a devastating wildfire earlier in 2016. The video explores how WestJet helped to restore the Christmas spirit in the community.


Air New Zealand’s Summer Wonderland will be appreciated most by those down under. Ronan Keating and Julian Dennison humourously adapt the classic Christmas ‘Winter Wonderland’ tune to suit NZ.


Finnair’s 2016 Christmas campaign takes the classic approach by focusing on how the airline connects family and friends during the festive period.


Emirates launched a new Christmas menu across all cabin classes for the first time. Menu items include turkey, chestnut stuffing, ‘yule log’, and cranberry jus.


United took children to see Santa.


AA also flew families of fallen soldiers.

Virgin Atlantic is serving up a 3 course Christmas meal.

Delta employees donated 500 thousand dollars to those in need (but unfortunately this great achievement flew under the radar).

Jetblue encouraged travellers to take a holiday before the Christmas holidays to reduce their stress levels.


My pick for 2016? Heathrow. It’s beautifully made and the proof is in the pudding: 4.7 million views on YouTube and international media coverage.

What was your favourite?