The Portuguese Air Force will fly over regions of mainland Portugal, on Sunday (24 December), as a way of wishing a merry Christmas “from the skies”, using a pair of F-16M, AW119 helicopters Koala and EH-101 Merlin.

In a statement, the Air Force states that the fly over will be carried out with “a training flight to maintain the capabilities of its military personnel to reinforce the commitment to safeguard the integrity of the entire national territory, by carrying out surveillance, policing and air defense missions.”

The pair of F-16M aircraft plan to fly over the municipalities and towns of Nazaré (11:02), Peniche (11:06), Caldas da Rainha (11:08), Rio Maior (11:10), Santarém (11:13 ), Entroncamento (11:16), Tomar (11:17), Abrantes (11:20), Castelo Branco (11:26), Covilhã (11:31), Guarda (11:34), Vila Nova de Foz Coa (11:39), Miranda do Douro (11:46), Macedo de Cavaleiros (11:51), Mirandela (11:53), Lamego (11:59), Castro Daire (12:01), Águeda (12: 06), Cantanhede (12:08), Figueira da Foz (12:11), Leiria (12:15) and Monte Real (12:16).

According to the Air Force, the AW119 Koala helicopter will operate in the south of the country in the morning and the north in the afternoon.

In the south, the air journey starts at Beja airport (10:30), heading to Ferreira do Alentejo (10:35), Santiago do Cacém (10:50), Sines (10:55), Odemira (11:07 ), Monchique (11:21), Portimão (11:26), Albufeira (11:33), Faro (11:41), Tavira (11:49), Vira Real de Santo António (11:54), Mértola ( 12:09), Serpa (12:19) and Beja (12:26), returning to where it took off (12:30).

In the north, the AW119 Koala helicopter departs at 15:00 from Air Base No. 8 (BA8), located in Maceda, in Ovar, district of Aveiro, with a route that passes through Vila Nova de Gaia (15:15) , Porto (15:20), Guimarães (15:45), Braga (16:00), Ponte de Lima (16:10), Viana do Castelo (16:25), Vila do Conde (16:35) and Foz from Porto (16:45), returning to BA8 (17:00), according to the Air Force.

The EH-101 Merlin helicopter will fly over Setúbal (11:00), Cascais (11:27), Ericeira (11:34) Torres Vedras (11:40), Vila Franca de Xira (11:47) and Santa Iria de Azoia (11:51), also to "wish everyone a merry Christmas."