14 airports battle for world Arch of Triumph supremacy

This week’s winner, with a score of 31.7 only comes in at position #19 – on a leader board of 23 airports so far in 2017 – the lowest result in the bottom five entries since week nine of the competition way back in March. For at least the last six weeks, the weekly winner in each seven days of competition has managed to make an impact on the leader board as FTWA standards have crept up week-by-week. Indeed, the average score of the first six weeks of this year’s contest was 30.0, whereas for the last six weeks it was an impressive 36.4, an average that has taken a battering this week. As one judge put it so eloquently, having scored this week’s entries: “What a poor bunch!” Keep Monitoring!!! 

Date Route FTWA Airport Score
13-Apr Ural Airlines Sochi/Adler to Tel Aviv Sochi/Adler (AER) 37.6
25-May Delta Air Lines New York JFK to Lisbon Lisbon (LIS) 37.5
16-Feb United Airlines San Francisco to Tampa Tampa (TPA) 37.4
25-Jun Wizz Air Košice to Cologne Bonn Košice (KSC) 37.2
28-Apr Monarch Airlines Birmingham to Porto Porto (OPO) 36.8
07-May Germania Fuerteventura to Toulouse Fuerteventrua (FUE) 36.7
15-Jun Ellinair Thessaloniki to Cluj-Napoca Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) 36.4
07-Jun Air China Beijing to Zurich Zurich (ZRH) 36.3
08-Apr Luxair Luxembourg to Alicante Alicante (ALC) 36.2
16-May Ukraine International Airlines Kiev Boryspil to Milan Bergamo Milan Bergamo (BGY) 35.9 

LOT Polish Airlines Krakow to Chicago O’Hare 3 July 

Cheeky Lufthansa A320…photo-bombing the FTWA action in Krakow…

Judges’ comments: Looking at the runway direction in use and from the water jet drift being experienced by the right-hand tender…this FTWA is definitely wind affected…which has unfortunately reduced its score a little. Also unusual to see such a uniform Arch of Triumph when two completely different types of tender have been used for the FTWA…

Jonny: 7.6; Kerry: 7.8; Marc: 8.0; Ralph: 8.3.

Qeshm Air Tehran Imam Khomeini to Brussels 27 June

Not the first time we have had dry water salute for a route launch…

Judges’ comments: Brussels Airport’s Senior Aviation Development Manager Martin Evenpoel was keen to explain why the airport had a ‘dry’ water arch celebration for the arrival of Qeshm Air’s first European service: “We had a dry water salute as we are coming from a hot and ultra dry period.” So given the circumstances, we still appreciate the effort…

Jonny: 5.0; Kerry: 2.0; Marc: 3.0; Ralph: 0.0.

SunExpress Antalya to Moscow Zhukovsky 27 June

All sorts of Russian heavy metal (Il-76s etc.) in the background of this shot…

Judges’ comments: We’re pretty sure that the SunExpress 737-800 made it past the right-hand tender unscathed…but it doesn’t half look a close one! Nice bit of manual control from the firefighter using the roof-mounted water cannon though…although his fellow crew member was a bit too high with his water jet however…

Jonny: 7.9; Kerry: 7.3; Marc: 7.6; Ralph: 7.5.

Widerøe Oslo Gardermoen to Stokmarknes 27 June

Widerøe Stokmarknes

Would you look at the fancy props on that Dash…

Judges’ comments: For those of you that have never heard of Stokmarknes (none of the anna.aero judges had either until we received this FTWA), it is a small town (it only received town status in 2000) in the municipality of Hadsel in Nordland County. It is located on the northern coast of the island of Hadseløya. The town has a population (in 2013) of 3,286 and a fully-functioning fire station at the airport…as indicated by this fine Arch of Triumph…if a little angular…but still the third best this week…

Jonny: 7.1; Kerry: 7.7; Marc: 7.2; Ralph: 6.8.

Blue Air Turin to Trapani 29 June

Blue Air Trapani

This FTWA reminds me of all those famous Dutch mountains…

Judges’ comments: I have definitely had pancakes with more of a peak than this rather flat looking FTWA from Trapani in Italy…maybe its not meant to be a pancake at all…but a thin and crispy pizza-style FTWA instead…extra anchovies on mine please…

Jonny: 6.2; Kerry: 6.3; Marc: 6.1; Ralph: 5.7.

Blue Air Constanta to Brussels 30 June

Blue Air Brussels Constanta

Dry salute number two from Brussels this week…and exactly the same score for both…

Judges’ comments: You have got to be kidding…you go for months (if not years) with no dry FTWAs…and then all of sudden you get two in a week (admittedly both from the same airport)!! Well its certainly an impressive vehicular salute…however we do think that Brussels Airport could invest in a couple of high-powered water pistols for use until this dry spell has ended.

Jonny: 5.0; Kerry: 2.0; Marc: 3.0; Ralph: 0.0.

Fiji Airways Nadi to Adelaide 30 June

A little bit of Fiji on display in Adelaide…

Judges’ comments: For those of you not familiar with your South Pacific national drinks…Kava is the national drink of Fiji, as well as being popular in many other countries in that part of the world. Given the misting effect produced here, similar to what happens to your eyes when you have one too many Kavas, there is no doubt that the Adelaide firefighters have come up with a local specialty ‘Kava’ FTWA for this launch…

Jonny: 4.9; Kerry: 3.0; Marc: 5.1; Ralph: 1.5.

Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong to Vancouver 30 June

Where in the world are we?

Judges’ comments: These are the exact words of the anna.aero judge that received this image from this Canadian route launch: “Disappointing…you can’t see the trucks, you can’t really make out the airline, and it’s not even a good arch…” I couldn’t have put it any better myself. Movie star Jackie Chan was on board this aircraft…but having seen this FTWA he apparently said…”No more Mr Nice Guy [the name of his 1997 movie]…I want to see some leaping dolphins!!”

Jonny: 3.4; Kerry: 3.7; Marc: 5.1; Ralph: 2.2.

Wizz Air Warsaw Chopin to Agadir 30 June

Wizz Air Agadir

Is this early morning or early evening in Agadir…

Judges’ comments: With a scheduled arrival time of 19:50, the delicate light of a Moroccan sunset gives this picture a lovely soft focus. While the anna.aero judges do like a delicate soft curve to their FTWAs…rather than an angular approach…they also like the water jets to meet in the middle…neatly above the aircraft…which lets this arch down…

Jonny: 5.5; Kerry: 5.1; Marc: 5.1; Ralph: 4.8.

Aeromexico Guadalajara to San Jose 1 July

A Californian FTWA…most rare!!

Judges’ comments: In a week where we have had two dry FTWAs from the normally very wet Northern Europe region…we also have a wet one from a normally very dry California, where for years many airports have banned the ceremonial Arch of Triumph due to perennial water shortages…we must be getting close to silly season… 

Jonny: 5.9; Kerry: 5.2; Marc: 5.6; Ralph: 5.6.

Emirates Dubai to Phnom Penh 1 July

Now that is what I call a well-lit apron…

Judges’ comments: With only one entry so far in the five years of the Arch of Triumph competition (which was in September last year)….Cambodia’s Phnom Penh Airport is hardly prolific when it comes to sending us its FTWAs…and with its scores in the low- to mid-20s…it’s not a world-beater either…but we still appreciate the effort…as I am sure so did the MEB3 airline it was performed for…

Jonny: 4.9; Kerry: 5.4; Marc: 7.1; Ralph: 5.3.

Norwegian Cork to Providence 1 July

Norwegian Cork

This FTWA was observed by an anna.aero judge in person…perhaps he could have given the Irish airport some last-minute tips…

Judges’ comments: You wait 56 years for your first-ever scheduled service to the US…and then you deliver an FTWA like that? We did have a judge on the ground at this route launch…perhaps he should have popped into the Cork Airport fire station for a bit of training for the crew on-duty on the day of the big launch? He did advise the rest of the judging panel that there were high winds causing some disturbance to the water jets… 

Jonny: 7.0; Kerry: 5.8; Marc: 4.9; Ralph: 3.3.

SA Airlink Cape Town to Victoria Falls 2 July 

SA Airlink Victoria Falls

An FTWA in homage to its local geographical wonder…

Judges’ comments: Victoria Falls presents a spectacular sight of awe-inspiring beauty and grandeur on the Zambezi River, forming the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was described by the Kololo tribe living in the area in the 1800s as ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’ – ‘The Smoke that Thunders’. With that, we must say that this FTWA from the airport welcoming SA Airlink’s connection from Cape Town is indeed smokin’…

Jonny: 7.2; Kerry: 7.2; Marc: 6.9; Ralph: 7.1.

TAP Portugal Lisbon to Budapest 2 July

A whole lot of mist…but not a lot of structure to this FTWA…

Judges’ comments: This competition’s name is not Curtain of Triumph…it is quite clearly Arch of Triumph…but what we have here…if it can indeed be named…is something closer to the former and not the latter…and to think that this airport is still the only one in the world to have received an in-station FTWA master class from one of the anna.aero judges…

Jonny: 3.4; Kerry: 4.2; Marc: 3.1; Ralph: 2.9.


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