On Friday, November 16th 2012, Air Berlin presented it's new Christmas aircraft inside the hangar at Munich.
With the motto "Flying home for Christmas", the Air Berlin Christmas aircraft is taking off once again. This year the Boeing 737-800 with the registration Mike Juliette has a 2.54 metre high and 4.2 metre wide Santa Claus made of photos from nearly 2,000 airberlin fans and employees who uploaded their images to the airline’s Facebook page.
I was invited to visit the press conference in Munich. So I travelled with Air Berlin from Berlin to Munich to meet Santa Claus.
The brand new B737-800W, D-ABMJ in the "Santa Claus Tour 2012" colourscheme
Original and photo-collage of Santa Claus. Santa Claus is played by the 29 years old businessman Dennis Heinrich from Hamburg, who was casted one year ago for this job. On selected flights, Santa claus is on bord of it's flying sledge D-ABMJ
2,000 photos of Air Berlin fans and employees on 2.54 metre high and 4.2 metre wide Santa Claus, pointing his finger in the air
Searching for your photo - on the Christmas web page of Air Berlin you are able to zoom into the picture
Did you always want to be the left hand of Santa Claus?
The starboard side of D-ABMJ
On the right side, Santa Claus is laughing
Even on the starboard Santa Claus collage you will find 2,000 photos of Air Berlin fans and employees, but on a different position like on the port side.
Guess which of the photos belong to the photographer Matthias Winkler?
A view into the front wheel's housing of a B737-800.
Santa Claus ( Dennis Heinrich ) is supported the 48 years old Christmas Elf Christine Jung from Grossaitingen, near Lechfeld airport (ETSL).
On selected flights of the Santa Claus Tour 2012 both Santa and his Elf are on board and give gifts to the passengers.
Santa Claus is the one of the hardest season worker jobs, this makes him sometimes very tired.
Elf Chritine Jung is adding the very last snowflake on the fuselage. The whole aircraft was taped with the Santa Claus Tour livery by the German company "ABC Beschriftungen" in the hangar at Munich within three days. This special art work is visible in a video on the Air Berlin Youtube channel. The daily updated schedule of D-ABMJ you will find on a link within the Air Berlin Christmas web page. The Santa Claus Tour 2012 will end on Sunday, January 6th 2013. Then D-ABMJ will be stripped off back to on ordinary Air Berlin B737-800.
Text and photos: Matthias Winkler, Berlin, Germany