Air Moldova Plane Draws “RELAX” In Sky Near Ukraine Border

Air Moldova Plane Draws “RELAX” In Sky Near Ukraine Border

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An Air Moldova plane operated a pretty interesting flight to nowhere yesterday, but it’s not for the reason you might assume.

Air Moldova A321 draws “RELAX” in sky

On Thursday, February 17, 2022, an Air Moldova Airbus A321 operated a 1hr38min flight to nowhere. The 24 year old plane with the registration code ER-AXR departed Chisnau International Airport (KIV) in the afternoon, and made some interesting maneuvers until the plane’s flight path “drew” a message in the sky, for anyone watching flight tracking data.

Air Moldova Airbus A321

Specifically, the plane wrote the word “RELAX” in the sky. This was near the border with Ukraine, leading many to believe that this message was in reference to escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia, with the possibility of war on the horizon.

The “RELAX” flight path for an Air Moldova flight

What was the purpose of this flight?

When people first caught onto this flight path, it was assumed that this was in reference to tensions between Ukraine and Russia. Was Moldova somehow trying to write a positive or calming message in the sky?

Nope, as it turns out, that’s not what was going on. Rather this was actually a stunt for the launch of a new radio station in Moldova. Specifically, “Radio Relax Moldova” just recently launched, and this flight was operated as a publicity stunt for the radio station.

Perhaps the next question is whether part of the intent here was to get publicity from the international community by making people think that this was about Ukraine, or if that part is just a coincidence.

We’ve seen all kinds of planes “draw” messages in the sky over the years. For example, in 2021 we saw an Air New Zealand Boeing 787 “draw” a kiwi in the sky.

Air New Zealand’s kiwi flight

Or in late 2020 we saw a Pobeda Boeing 737 “draw” a phallic image in the sky, apparently as an act of solidarity with the captain of Russia’s national football team being temporarily suspended after footage emerged of him masturbating.

Pobdeda’s phallic flight

There are lots more examples over the years, but those are a couple of recent ones…

Bottom line

Air Moldova operated a flight to nowhere yesterday, during which an A321 drew the word “RELAX” in the sky with its flight path, right near the Ukrainian border. As it turned out, this message had nothing to do with tensions between Ukraine and Russia, but rather was a publicity stunt for a new Moldovan radio station.

What do you make of this publicity stunt?

(Tip of the hat to @JonPark)

Conversations (6)
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  1. OPR Member

    I don't see any harm in it... A little bit of fun, nobody gets hurt.

    Also, two i's in Chișinău :).

  2. Hiro Guest

    Probably O-Zone was making a come back with Version 2.0

  3. Tortuga Diamond

    I saw this on FR24's Instagram stories last night. I thought it was in bad taste because I assumed it was re: Russia vs. Ukraine situation. Now that I "know" the "truth," I still think it's in bad taste. Like, maybe, even moreso.

  4. AJO Guest

    Apparently, this was to celebrate the launch of Radio Relax Moldova, a radio station.
    (and of course it was near the Ukrainian border, because Moldova is a small country, next to Ukraine)

    1. Eskimo Guest

      A "radio station" in 2022 that can afford to charter A321 to draw something?!?!

      Am I missing something here?

    2. Max Guest

      Moldova is a small country and is not rampaged by big corporate compliance departments like the US. The boss of the radio station most likely just called his buddy from the airline and told him to 'adjust' the flight path of a necessary training flight slightly.

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Tortuga Diamond

I saw this on FR24's Instagram stories last night. I thought it was in bad taste because I assumed it was re: Russia vs. Ukraine situation. Now that I "know" the "truth," I still think it's in bad taste. Like, maybe, even moreso.

1
Max Guest

Moldova is a small country and is not rampaged by big corporate compliance departments like the US. The boss of the radio station most likely just called his buddy from the airline and told him to 'adjust' the flight path of a necessary training flight slightly.

1
Eskimo Guest

A "radio station" in 2022 that can afford to charter A321 to draw something?!?! Am I missing something here?

1
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