Partly false claim: Video shows plane display carried out by the Italian Airforce to lift national spirit amidst the coronavirus quarantine

A video widely shared on social media allegedly shows an Italian Airforce acrobatic display amidst the coronavirus quarantine to lift the national spirit. The video with this claim has been shared over 6,700 times on Facebook ( here , here ) and has over 163,000 Retweets on Twitter ( here , here , here ) as of March 17, 2020.

This is partly false. While it is true the Italian Airforce reshared this video recently on its social media to lift the spirit of the Italian people, the footage was not recorded during the coronavirus quarantine in Italy. The video shows a 2019 display of the Italian Frecce Tricolori aerobatic squad in the Jesolo Air Show.

The Italian Airforce posted this video on Twitter ( here )and Instagram ( here ) on March 11, 2020, a day after the coronavirus quarantine started, ( here ), to encourage the Italian people to “join forces”. Their post, originally written in Italian, reads: “Unity and teamwork have always been the principles on which our Armed Force is based and, at this moment more than ever, are fundamental. So, as the Frecce Tricolori have always done 'let's team up' let's join forces, together we'll make it!”.

The Italian Airforce told Reuters the video was recorded on September 15, 2019 during the Jesolo Air Show. Another video of the same show by the Italian Airforce can be seen here .

Some of the posts also include the false claim that the alignment of the planes in the video allegedly represents the Italian nation fighting the coronavirus. This is incorrect as the video predates the COVID-19 outbreak. Other videos of past displays of the Frecce Tricolori also show this is the standard alignment for this maneuver ( , ).

“The Frecce Tricolori concludes each acrobatic appointment by performing the “halo” maneuver which represents a symbolic embrace”, the Italian Airforce told Reuters.

On March 10, 2020 Italy started an unprecedented nationwide lockdown to slow Europe’s worst outbreak of coronavirus. As of March 17, 2020 the death toll in the European country had reached 2,503, the Civil Protection Agency said, while the total number of confirmed cases increased to 31,506 - the largest number outside China ( here ).


Partly false: This video shows a 2019 display of the Frecce Tricolori in the Jesolo Air Show, not a display carried out during the 2020 coronavirus quarantine. The Italian Airforce reshared it recently to lift the spirit of the Italian people.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our fact checking work  here .