When bosses at Gloucestershire Airport and Citywing heard about Archie Koncher’s story, they stepped in to send him to Scotland!
15-year old Archie, from Stoke Orchard, is thought to be one of just three people in the country with Propionic Aciduria. This rare genetic condition means his body converts protein into lethal toxins, which damage his vital organs. He is limited to just 25g of protein a day – equivalent to a pint of milk – and any more than that could kill him.
Archie’s mum Salli set up a fundraising page via social media network Twitter using the hashtag #AmazingArchie to raise money for a trip to Glasgow to watch Scottish Premiership football side Partick Thistle FC play. Partick’s manager is Alan Archibold – also known to fans as ‘Amazing Archie’ – and the club has also supported Salli’s campaign, sending the youngster signed football shirts.
Airport operations director Darren Lewington said: – “We saw Archie’s story on Twitter and realised that we might be able to help because our new connecting services via the Isle of Man to Glasgow and Newcastle begin at the end of March.
We contacted Citywing and, together, we’ve agreed to fund flights for Archie and his parents to travel to Glasgow on the inaugural weekend service, which departs on Friday 1st April. We’re bringing them home on Sunday evening when, hopefully, they’ll have seen the Jags beat rivals Kilmarnock FC. We understand that the family are going to be given VIP treatment by the Partick Thistle team too, so, hopefully, it’ll be a memorable weekend.”
Citywing’s network of connections is perfect for spending a weekend north of the border. Flights leave Gloucester at 1520 on Fridays, arriving in Glasgow at 1800 with a 30-minute stopover in the Isle of Man. Return flights leave Glasgow at 1545 on Sunday or Monday, arriving at Gloucester at 1820.
Darren added: – “These new routes are going to be popular with business and leisure passengers. In addition to Glasgow, a variety of connecting flights enable local people to travel Belfast and Newcastle via the Isle of Man with free parking and without the hassle of using major airports.
We couldn’t think of a more deserving passenger than Archie to fly on the first flights.”