Shortly after 1pm (local time), an Austrian pilot scrawled out a message in the skies just south of Vienna.
The decorative flight path spelt “STAYHOME”, a reference to the coronavirus outbreak that has seen self-isolation measures imposed across swathes of Europe.
Flightradar24 data shows that the 24-minute flight took the Diamond DA40 from Wiener Neustadt to the city of Graz.
Earlier that day, the plane had taken off from Wiener Neustadt for a brief flight, crossing the area several times before landing again 21 minutes later. It is unclear whether this was the same pilot.
The pilot’s message echoes the advice of Austrian officials, who have urged members of the public to work from home if possible in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
STAY HOME – This message was written in the sky by a pilot in Austria earlier today
Playback – https://t.co/oCkFp13TgT pic.twitter.com/LrSLLmk8iN
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) March 16, 2020
The news comes as the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak affects the aviation industry, as well as the travel industry more broadly.
Even major European tourism agencies, such as Visit Estonia, are urging individuals to avoid all unnecessary travel. “Visit Estonia… Later. #stayhome,” reads one of the agency’s latest campaigns.