Oddly Enough

Russia's budget airline under fire for plane's phallic flight route

MOSCOW (Reuters) - National carrier Aeroflot should consider sacking the head of its budget airline after one of its passenger planes appeared to trace a phallic-like route in the sky during a commercial flight, Russia’s state aviation authority has recommended.

A commission for the Rosaviatsia authority said in a report that the crew of a Moscow-Yekaterinburg flight operated by Pobeda deviated from its authorised flight path on Nov. 11 for manoeuvres with 102 passengers on board.

Russian media have cast the manoeuvres as a gesture of public support for soccer star Artyom Dzyuba who had been dropped from the Russian national team after the leak of a private, intimate video featuring a man similar to him.

Pobeda and Aeroflot did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

Part of the Rosaviatsia report was published on an anonymous channel on the Telegram messenger service on Friday and a source in the aviation authority confirmed its authenticity to Reuters. The RBC media outlet also cited a source confirming it.

The commission said the plane had not needed to deviate from its path for security reasons.

Rosaviatsia declined to confirm or deny the authenticity of the report, describing it as internal correspondence.

Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by William Maclean