An article on satirical website ThinAirToday stating that a Saudi Arabian man accidentally bought two Airbus A350 aircraft for his son’s birthday is viral on WhatsApp and social media.
The story was also picked up by Times Now.
An archived version of the post can be found here. Further, BOOM has received a screenshot of the article on its helpline (7700906111).
The story satirically further states that the Saudi man allegedly wanted two model aircraft, but two real ones were delivered thereafter by aircraft manufacturer.
“The price tag of roughly € 329 million did not seem to bother the man. “I got lost in currency conversions, I thought it was a bit expensive but still reasonable”. The man payed with his American Express and a few months later, Airbus called to tell the planes are ready for delivery. “They asked me who will fly it, I thought it was a joke.The Saudi man decided to keep one of the planes and gifted the other one to his cousin.” – Thin Air Today
BOOM used keywords like ‘Saudi airbus’ and found users on social media falling for it.
The website is actually satire. While not explicit on its website, the Facebook page of ThinAirToday states that they are a satirical website carrying aviation related “news”.
The website has based satirical stories around current happening in the aviation sector – in airports, aircraft manufacturers and airline operators around the world.
Some of its other stories include the following.
- ‘Flat Earth Society Makes Promotional Around The World Trip’
- ‘Hong Kong Airport Will Be Moved To Mainland China’
- ‘London Gets World’s First Underground Airport’
BOOM reached out to ThinAirToday on Facebook. The person responding said that the page is run as a passion project for aviation enthusiasts. The person told BOOM:
“…It seems like it doesn’t matter how absurd I will make it, someone will always believe it. And my goal is not to spread fake news, but have some fun.”
On being asked if the individual is an aviation enthusiast, we got a reply:
“I am, but I’m (sic) not falling in any of the categories of pilots, cabin crew or spotters … More of a frequent flyer.”
The person also commented on Times Now carrying the story.
“The problem is, I think, media sharing this outside of the context …
They even added some details, I might add them to my original article …”
For further verification, BOOM has written to Airbus, and will update this story on hearing from them.
The story has been updated with the post from Times Now and the quote from ThinAirToday.