Flight attendants explain how they de-ice the plane

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Express.co.uk spoke to cabin crew from KLM about their experience in Lapland. The crew fly to Rovaniemi in Finland, known as the capital of Lapland and the official home town of Santa Claus.

The crew said: “Thanks to its cool temperatures in winter – which can fall as low as minus 16 degrees – pilots taking off in Rovaniemi pay extra attention to the weather and conditions.

“When it gets cold, I have to de-ice my plane just like you would your car so that anything from frozen mist to hail doesn’t disrupt the airflow over the wings.

“So, we clean and protect the aircraft just before take-off on winter days. That cleaning process is done with a mixture of water and glycol, heated to a temperature of 70°C.

“If it snows or hails during de-icing, the aircraft is also coated with a thick, un-warmed fluid, which offers temporary protection against snow and/or hail.

“Once an aircraft is airborne, it also has its own systems to prevent ice build-up whatever the weather.”

Snow is on the ground in Rovaniemi for around half the year, usually from late November to mid April.

The coldest recorded local temperature was an incredible minus 45 degrees so passengers should pack plenty of warm clothing.

The crew added: “It seems like more of our passengers want to visit Lapland each year!

“Whether it is people wanting to experience more of the joy of the festive season or the opportunity to explore Rovaniemi, to make sure travellers can reach Lapland this year, I now fly KLM’s direct service between Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Rovaniemi.

“As Rovaniemi Airport is just inside the Arctic Circle, when you’re there it is dark for extremely long parts of the day and very cold!

“This is a unique experience as a member of the cabin crew as due to the long periods of darkness in that part of the world, you might hardly see the sun flying there and back.”

In December, the sun can rise after 11am and set as early as 1:15pm, offering just a couple of hours of daylight per day.

Cabin crew explore destinations all over the world but Lapland definitely has an extra special magic.

The crew said: “Every cabin crew member takes the time to explore their destinations once in a while.

“As Rovaniemi is the last major city you’ll find before you travel north into the remote and sprawling wilderness of Lapland, you can explore the city on snow scooters or even by husky safari.

“I like to visit some of its cosy cafes and restaurants – but who can resist taking a trip to visit the home of Santa Claus, who lives in Santa Park.”

Rovaniemi is an ideal family destination for a winter holiday and children will be enchanted by its magic.

Aside from Father Christmas, families also have a chance of seeing the Northern Lights 150 days a year in Finnish Lapland.

From dog sledding to snowmobiling, the winter wonderland destination is a once in a lifetime experience.

After a day in the snow, tourists can warm up with a toasty hot chocolate in a festive wood cabin cafe.

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