South American fiesta of FTWAs this week

Wellington Airport has held the top spot on the 2016 Arch of Triumph leader board for nearly a quarter of the year already, and shows no signs of relinquishing that position. Or more correctly, the standard of the challenging airports is not high enough at the moment to trouble the New Zealand airport. Indeed, the top three airports have been in their respective positions since the first week of February. Despite there being 16 entries this week, the overall standard was at best poor, with the average score just 19.3, and the winner from Billund, probably best described as the best of a bad bunch, with its winning score of 30.4, secured it only 12th spot in the FTWA 2016 league. The Danish airport’s win does however mean that Europe now has won half of the 16 weeks of competition. Keep monitoring!!

Date Route FTWA Airport Score
01-Feb Jetstar Airways Nelson to Wellington Wellington (WLG) 37.3
08-Jan Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong to Gold Coast Gold Coast (OOL) 37.2
02-Feb AirAsia X Kuala Lumpur to Delhi Delhi (DEL) 37.0
11-Mar Wizz Air Budapest to Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB) 36.9
14-Apr bmi regional Munich to Southampton Munich (MUC) 36.8
06-Apr Air India Delhi to Vienna Vienna (VIE) 35.7
29-Apr Aer Lingus Belfast City to Alicante Alicante (ALC) 35.5
01-Mar LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw Chopin to Luxembourg Luxembourg (LUX) 32.7
15-Mar Cebu Pacific Air Manila to Guam Guam (GUM) 32.3
12-Jan China Southern Airlines Wuhan to Dubai Dubai (DXB) 32.1

British Airways London Heathrow to Billund 3 May

British Airways London Heathrow to Billund 3 May

A bit pointy and not centred over the aircraft…but good enough to win this week…

Judge’s Comments: You would think with 16 FTWA entries this week, that it would be a tough week to take home the Arch of Triumph trophy. However, with a winning score of 30.4, Billund’s victory has only secured it 12th spot on the leader board…hardly earth-shattering. That said, the Danish airport has only entered this competition twice, both this year, the first being in the public vote a few weeks ago…so credit where credit is due…

Jonny: 7.8; Marc: 7.6; Paul: 8.5; Ralph: 6.5.

Emirates Dubai to Yinchuan 3 May

Emirates Dubai to Yinchuan 3 May

Who says you can’t see a blue sky in China…

Judge’s Comments: Mind the gap! Or should we say Zhùyì jiàngé. While we can easily be critical (and the anna.aero judges often are…sometimes brutal) of this FTWA, it should be remembered that this is the first effort we have received from Yinchuan in China…so a good start…and something to build on…

Jonny: 5.0; Marc: 5.4; Paul: 5.5; Ralph: 5.7.

Emirates Dubai to Zhengzhou 3 May

Emirates Dubai to Zhengzhou 3 May

A few hours later, the same Emirates aircraft receives a very similar FTWA….

Judge’s Comments: Mind the bigger gap! The new Emirates service to Yinchuan (above) continued to Zhengzhou, where an almost identical FTWA was delivered. However, on this one you can’t see either tender, but there is a hint of a rainbow though…but the score is lower than that achieved earlier in the day for the same aircraft…

Jonny: 5.0; Marc: 4.9; Paul: 4.9; Ralph: 4.7.

Germania Dresden to Malaga 3 May

Germania Dresden to Malaga 3 May

The Greek letter lambda in water! Impressive…

Judge’s Comments: In Greek numerals (it is also the 11th letter of the Greek alphabet) lambda has a value of 30….which is 8.4 more than the score that this FTWA attained from the anna.aero judges. Shame the Germania aircraft was flying on a new route to Spain and not Greece…

Jonny: 3.8; Marc: 5.4; Paul: 7.5; Ralph: 4.9.

Royal Air Maroc Casablanca to Rio de Janeiro Galeao 3 May

Royal Air Maroc Casablanca to Rio de Janeiro Galeao 3 May

What?!? Is this a solo tender effort?

Judge’s Comments: Because of how close this picture has been cropped, we are uncertain as to whether there was actually another tender in attendance or not? (Looking at this, there was) This may have been a classic ‘Big Boy, Little Boy’…but we’ll never know…as that piece of the picture is now consigned to the cutting room floor (or its digital equivalent). Nice bit of photobombing from the Avianca aircraft though…

Jonny: 1.1; Marc: 2.2; Paul: 3.0; Ralph: 2.5.

British Airways London Gatwick to Lima 4 May

British Airways London Gatwick to Lima 4 May

Close Encounters of the Route Launch Kind…

Judge’s Comments: The first of two entries from Lima this week. All that can be said is that it can only get better after this effort. What can be distinguished (we think) are two water jets at very different angles, some bright lights in the dark (hence the Close Encounters reference) and that’s all. There is some very consistent (albeit very low) scoring however…

Jonny: 0.2; Marc: 0.2; Paul: 0.2; Ralph: 0.2.

Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk to Bogota 4 May

Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk to Bogota 4 May

Another hub carrier…another multiple city new route…another duo of instantly forgettable FTWAs…

Judge’s Comments: We get the fact that when a carrier as significant (it flies to more global destinations than any other airline) as Turkish Airlines arrives at your airport it’s kind of a big deal. People want to see it arrive, take pictures (and no doubt selfies – yuk!) etc. But the result is too much apron clutter as we have here in Bogota…booooooo…

Jonny: 4.9; Marc: 5.2; Paul: 4.7; Ralph: 6.1.

Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk to Panama City 4 May

Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk to Panama City 4 May

Less apron clutter…but a haphazard FTWA structure…

Judge’s Comments: …so the same Turkish Airlines aircraft arrives in Panama…and phew…there is less of a welcoming committee (of seemingly the entire airport staff in Bogota) on the apron. But the effort put into the FTWA to herald the start of services from such a prominent global hub carrier is debatable…

Jonny: 0.1; Marc: 3.7; Paul: 1.9; Ralph: 1.1.

WOW air Reykjavik/Keflavik to Montreal 4 May

WOW air Reykjavik/Keflavik to Montreal 4 May

Is that a new piece of apron kit (bottom left)…does it fire the cones used to mark the extremities of the aircraft’s footprint?

Judge’s Comments: Is this an FTWA to make you go WOW? It’s more like one that makes you say: “Yeah it’s not bad…but it could be better”. It’s hard to make out the arch details against the grey sky…and given WOW air’s colour scheme, this FTWA is crying out for some coloured water dye…

Jonny: 7.7; Marc: 7.4; Paul: 7.5; Ralph: 7.0.

Interjet Mexico City to Lima 5 May

Interjet Mexico City to Lima 5 May

Round two in Lima…and it’s better…but still messy…

Judge’s Comments: What follows are actual comments from one of anna.aero’s four esteemed FTWA judges ‒ not an actor. “Nope can’t explain this. Interesting ‘industrial’ background…” When you are having to mention an “interesting industrial background” you know that the FTWA is not the best…

Jonny: 0.4; Marc: 4.5; Paul: 2.9; Ralph: 3.5.

KLM Amsterdam to Salt Lake City 5 May

KLM Amsterdam to Salt Lake City 5 May

Salty tears were shed for this FTWA in Salt Lake City…

Judge’s Comments: The same judge that commented on the FTWA from Lima above, then had this to say about this one from Salt Lake City. “Oh dear, oh dear. Not even close to an arch. Nice snow-capped mountains in the background though…” Again, the setting of the picture is more captivating than the FTWA itself…shocking…

Jonny: 4.5; Marc: 3.8; Paul: 4.5; Ralph: 2.5. 

Finnair Helsinki to Guangzhou 6 May

Finnair Helsinki to Guangzhou 6 May

A bit of Tobleroning in Guangzhou…

Judge’s Comments: Apparently Toblerone is the third most popular chocolate bar in Guangzhou, after Marathons (the name was never changed to Snickers in China) and Dove. This chocolate bar makes up an impressive 34% of the nation’s total chocolate consumption. To put that into perspective, China was projected to consume a whopping 200,700 tonnes of chocolate last year alone…

Jonny: 5.1; Marc: 5.6; Paul: 4.8; Ralph: 6.8. 

Vueling Paris CDG to Santander 6 May

Vueling Paris CDG to Santander 6 May

More rain in Spain falling mainly on the plane…

Judge’s Comments: Sorry, we’re still laughing in the anna.aero office about the witty quip we made in the caption above. One of our best you must agree? This was a good FTWA from Santander, but only good enough to secure third spot in this week’s competition…

Jonny: 7.4; Marc: 7.3; Paul: 7.2; Ralph: 7.2. 

Air Canada Toronto Pearson to Jacksonville 7 May

Air Canada Toronto Pearson to Jacksonville 7 May

How low can you go? This is a classic ‘Ear-wash’ FTWA in Florida…

Judge’s Comments: WHAT! Hysterical ‒ this FTWA made all four anna.aero judges laugh out loud. Is this for real? The plane’s never gonna get through that gap, is it? Is the Air Canada aircraft supposed to limbo under that arch? One of the best ‘Ear-wash’ FTWAs we’ve ever had…

Jonny: 5.0; Marc: 3.8; Paul: 6.0; Ralph: 0.5. 

Finnair Helsinki to Fukuoka 7 May

Finnair Helsinki to Fukuoka 7 May

Is the left-hand truck hiding behind a barrier? Stealth FTWA-ing…

Judge’s Comments: Blimey, this Fukuokan FTWA makes the Tobleroning performed in Guangzhou for Finnair’s other route launch this week look like a small hill. Also, did the left-hand tender have a bad hose day? Why is it hiding itself away? Maybe it had a spot on the end of its snozzle?

Jonny: 7.7; Marc: 7.2; Paul: 7.5; Ralph: 6.3. 

easyJet Amsterdam to Palma de Mallorca 8 May

easyjet Amsterdam to Palma de Mallorca 8 May

Too much spray, but at least vaguely archy…especially given some of the efforts we’ve had this week…

Judge’s Comments: I feel a bit worn out after writing all these negative comments this week. I am imagining that this must be what Simon Cowell (X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent) or Craig Revel Horwood (Strictly Come Dancing) must feel like on a daily basis, when they do their judging on TV…

Jonny: 6.9; Marc: 6.8; Paul: 6.9; Ralph: 6.7.


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