Back-to-back wins for Middle East in 2018 competition

When its comes to presentation of football matches these days, its all about the player statistics – number of assists, passes completed, tackles made…and much, much more! Here at anna.aero we are not immune to the insatiable thirst for such trivia – its the grease on the wheels of many conversations held every evening in pubs around the world. It also gives us something to write about in this part of the article. One new metric already discussed in this feature that we have introduced in 2018 has been aircraft types used on route start-ups. Another, launching today, is the type of airline business model receiving the prestigious Arch of Triumph. The sector which has taken an early lead is low-cost carriers, with it commanding 51% of all FTWAs entries so far in 2018, ahead of full-service carriers in second with 36%. Regional carriers are in third spot (10%), with leisure carriers (3%) propping up everybody. Keep Monitoring!!

SalamAir Muscat to Shiraz 28 February

A rare FTWA from Iran…more uncommon than rocking horse deposits…

Judges’ comments: When we look down the list of routes launching each week, there are some parts of the world where you just don’t expect to receive an FTWA from…and new services to regional airports in Iran is no exception to that rule. We have had an FTWA from the country’s main international gateway – Tehran Imam Khomeini – when Air Astana started services from Almaty in June 2016, and the Iranian capital city airport wheeled out the fire tenders, but this is a first from a regional airport. Not a bad effort either…despite lifting the image from some video footage…

Jonny: 8.0; Kerry: 8.0; Marc: 8.2; Nick: 8.1.

Flybondi Buenos Aires El Palomar to Tucuman 28 February 

Flybondi Tucamen

Another week…another single tender FTWA from Argentina for Flybondi…

Judges’ comments: Its been well-documented in this feature over the last few weeks that Flybondi is the most popular airline in the world when its comes to receiving FTWAs so far in 2018. However, we can’t help but feel the efforts from the Argentinian airports it now serves have been a bit half-hearted, like they are only giving 50%. That is because, like the water arch above, four of the six FTWAs it has received have only been attended by one fire tender. Is it sloppy airport marketing of new routes or is this just a ‘thing’ in Argentina?? Answers on a post card please…

Jonny: 4.9; Kerry: 4.9; Marc: 4.9; Nick: 4.8.

SaudiGulf Airlines Riyadh to Dubai 1 March

Arch of Triumph now has more stats than Sky Sports…

Judges’ comments: The inclusion this week of Saudi Arabian Airlines’ in-house low-cost carrier (LCC) SaudiGulf Airlines in the Arch of Triumph competition has pushed this type of airline business model past the 20 FTWA barrier in 2018. With four more route launches from the LCC’s main base at Dammam to points in Pakistan planned for later in the year, the carrier will certainly be doing its part to keep this sector of the industry at the top of the pile…

Jonny: 7.2; Kerry: 7.6; Marc: 8.1; Nick: 8.0.

Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi to Baku 2 March 

Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi

Are there two more tenders on the right-hand side of the Etihad aircraft??

Judges’ comments: We love it when airports get four tenders out for a route launch – these types of double water arches tend to score highly if they have been executed and captured by the photographer well. What we have here from Azerbaijan is an example of a probably well-executed FTWA, caught too late by the photographer and then edited brutally…omitting the right-hand side of the arch. Its a real shame, as this FTWA could have stormed onto the Arch of Triumph leader board…and now it will be just forgotten… 

Jonny: 5.9; Kerry: 5.4; Marc: 5.7; Nick: 5.5.


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