First Caribbean Arch of Triumph finally arrives

Delhi Airport has jumped to the top of the leader board this week, usurping Krakow Airport which had held onto the top spot for just less than a month. With this change at the top, it is perhaps a good time to evaluate just how well our weekly winners are performing versus the victors from other years of the Arch of Triumph competition. Of the 16 weeks where all FTWAs have been scored (there were two weeks of public votes at the start of S18) the average winning tally has been 33.3. This result is ahead of every year of competition since 2013 with the exception of 2017, when the average winning score was a massive 34.8 (admittedly over the whole 12 months rather than just over four for 2018). So there is some way to go for this year’s entries before they pass the excellent results achieved last year. Keep Monitoring!!

Date Route FTWA Airport Score
01-May Ukraine International Airlines Kiev Boryspil to Delhi Delhi (DEL 37.2
08-Apr flydubai Dubai to Krakow Krakow (KRK) 37.1
22-Apr La Compagnie Paris Orly to New York Newark Paris Orly (ORY) 36.1
11-Feb Qatar Airways Doha to Canberra Canberra (CBR) 35.9
28-Jan Tianjin Airlines Zhengzhou to Sydney Sydney (SYD) 35.2
09-Jan Philippines AirAsia Manila to Jakarta Jakarta (CGK) 35
14-Feb Frontier Airlines Denver to Jacksonville Jacksonville (JAX) 34.4
28-Apr S7 Airlines St. Petersburg to Alicante Alicante (ALC) 33.6
18-Jan United Airlines Houston Intercontinental to Sydney Sydney (SYD) 32.4
02-Feb Philippines AirAsia Clark to Tacloban Tacloban (TAC) 32.4

Ukraine International Airlines Kiev Boryspil to Delhi 1 May

A long-distance shot of this FTWA…bigger lens required next time…

Judges’ comments: We are not sure just how high this FTWA is in Delhi. From this angle and distance the water arch looks pretty flat…but there does look to be some apron left to go for the Ukraine International Airlines 767 before it actually gets underneath the water jets. So for all we know there could be metres between the aircraft’s tail and the peak of the FTWA…but it was still good enough to win this week…and indeed top the leader board… 

Jonny: 9.4; Kerry: 9.4; Marc: 9.1; Nick: 9.3.

Air Canada Toronto Pearson to Omaha 1 May

Oh my goodness…its an Omaha FTWA…

Judges’ comments: One of two FTWAs this week featuring regional jets, which has taken the aircraft type’s number of water baptisms up to 22, now representing 13% of the total amount of entries received so far this year. As a result, the regional jet stays the third-most popular type of aircraft used in the 163 water arches delivered in 2018…

Jonny: 6.5; Kerry: 6.2; Marc: 5.8; Nick: 5.9.

Qatar Airways Doha to Cardiff 1 May

Use of a substitute aircraft again for an inaugural flight…

Judges’ comments: Yes the A350 and 787-8 are pretty similar-sized aircraft…but do the marketing gurus not understand the intricacies of FTWAs? You simply can’t just replace the planned inaugural flight aircraft with another one…think of the hours that the Cardiff Airport firefighters have pored over their angles expecting a 787…only for a A350 to turn up…

Jonny: 6.1; Kerry: 6.3; Marc: 6.5; Nick: 6.4.

Wizz Air London Luton to Lviv 1 May

Mysterious lights in the sky…a close encounter of the inaugural flight kind?

Judges’ comments: Having looked at the original image received from Lviv, the light in the sky is most likely a helicopter. There must have been someone in the aircraft armed with a camera? Where is the aerial night-time shot? We have never had one of those before!! With a score of 36.6…an excellent second position for this FTWA…

Jonny: 9.1; Kerry: 9.0; Marc: 9.2; Nick: 9.3.

Norwegian Stockholm Arlanda to Bilbao 2 May 

Norwegian Bilbao

This isn’t the Bilbao I remember from a couple of weeks ago!!

Judges’ comments: Just a couple of weeks after Europe’s network planning community descended on this part of the Basque Country for Routes Europe, the region’s changeable weather is on clear display in this image. When anna.aero was there in April we had a day of very pleasant 28ºC during a tour of nearby San Sebastian. Not much of that sunshine on view here…

Jonny: 5.2; Kerry: 6.0; Marc: 6.6; Nick: 6.1.

Bahamasair Bimini to Miami 3 May 

Finally this route gets underway…

Judges’ comments: It has taken a while to get this link – incidentally Miami’s seventh destination in the Bahamas – up and running. It has been delayed a couple of times in 2018, no doubt causing havoc with the intensive planning that Miami’s firefighters will have wanted to do. Perhaps because of the delays in the inaugural service the right-hand tender just did not show up at all!!

Jonny: 3.4; Kerry: 2.9; Marc: 3.5; Nick: 3.2.

JetBlue Airways New York Newark to Santo Domingo 3 May

Its week 18 of the Arch of Triumph competition and we finally receive the first FTWA of the year from the Caribbean…

Judges’ comments: Yes there have been well over 150 FTWAs from the seven other regions of the world which participate in the Arch of Triumph competition…but its has taken until now for the anna.aero judges to receive their first from the Caribbean. While we are used to seeing images from inaugural flights with the flight crew waving flags out of the cockpit window…we have never seen them being displayed by the apron staff like this!! Love it!!

Jonny: 7.7; Kerry: 8.0; Marc: 8.0; Nick: 8.1.

KLM Amsterdam to Fortaleza 3 May 

KLM Fortaleza

If you get any closer to that engine…you may just get an unexpected hair cut!!

Judges’ comments: With the majority of people these days having a phone with a camera or even a video camera, there is definitely more amateur FTWA photography and filming taking place today than when we started this competition way back in 2013. As a result, long gone are the days of a lonely traffic cone straying into the foreground of FTWA images…today it is people with their phones out capturing the moment so they can update their social media profiles instead…we prefer the inanimate objects…

Jonny: 3.4; Kerry: 3.0; Marc: 3.7; Nick: 3.3.

WOW air Reykjavik/Keflavik to Cleveland 3 May

WOW air Cleveland

The best FTWA we have ever received (from this particular airport in Ohio)…

Judges’ comments: This is only the third FTWA which has been entered by the US airport in the five-year history of the Arch of Triumph. Both previous efforts scored below 20, with the May 2015 entry gaining just 17.7 for a JetBlue Airways launch from Boston, beaten by a 19.2 tally achieved in June 2014 for a Frontier Airlines inaugural from Atlanta. At least this time the 20 points barrier has been broken…

Jonny: 5.4; Kerry: 5.2; Marc: 5.5; Nick: 5.1.

Air Arabia Egypt Borg El Arab to Milan Bergamo 4 May

This FTWA from Milan Bergamo is bursting with quality…almost…

Judges’ comments: To say that Milan Bergamo has pedigree in this competition is perhaps an understatement. The Italian airport is a four times weekly winner, including two last year and one in 2014, as well as an impressive third place overall in the 2015 battle. That said, with a field of 18 this week, including some top-notch entries, the gateway to Lombardy will have to wait a little longer for that fifth win…

Jonny: 7.5; Kerry: 8.0; Marc: 7.3; Nick: 7.4.

Air Malta Malta to London Southend 4 May

Air Malta London Southend

Another parallel FTWA from London Southend…

Judges’ comments: Clearly this is just how they do FTWAs in Southend! If you look at last week’s effort from the London airport and look above, you can see that the firefighters like to park their tenders parallel to the path of the aircraft. Last week this approach saw the gateway secure a score of 30.9…which has been comfortably beaten with a tally of 33.5 this week…

Jonny: 8.0; Kerry: 8.2; Marc: 8.8; Nick: 8.5.

American Airlines Chicago O’Hare to Venice Marco Polo 4 May 

American Airlines Venice Marco Polo

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…pretty colours…

Judges’ comments: Although not a recent invention in the world of the Arch of Triumph, the anna.aero judges do still like a coloured water arch…and this week we have got two…one from Italy and one from Portugal. The judges found it hard to separate the two, with just 0.3 points splitting the pair…in favour of the Italian version above…

Jonny: 8.9; Kerry: 8.8; Marc: 9.0; Nick: 8.7.

American Airlines Philadelphia to Budapest 4 May 

The second of three long-haul new route FTWAs for American Airlines…

Judges’ comments: Its been a busy week for the long-haul division of the world’s biggest airline, with this being the second of three water arches received in three different European cities all on the same day. All three were above average FTWAs, as they all scored totals over 30…however, the above Hungarian example was the bronze medalist in this particular mini-competition in a competition…

Jonny: 7.7; Kerry: 7.5; Marc: 7.5; Nick: 7.4.

American Airlines Philadelphia to Prague 4 May 

American Airlines Prague

Have we got the right aircraft…errrrrr I think so…

Judges’ comments: We think that the crafty pilot of the arriving aircraft behind the American Airlines 767-300 (presumably a Czech Airlines A320)…was going to try and sneak through the water arch just after the inaugural transatlantic flight. Unless of course the firefighters at Prague Airport were doing a special offer this week on FTWAs…two for the price of one! 

Jonny: 8.2; Kerry: 8.0; Marc: 8.3; Nick: 8.1.

Frontier Airlines Denver to Savannah 4 May

Frontier Airlines Savannah

The parallel trend has made it across the Atlantic already…

Judges’ comments: This often happens in this competition, we saw it with the short-lived Kardashian-style FTWA for example (photo of the water arch from the rear), a trend hits the Arch of Triumph, and within a matter of days it spreads across the world. Clearly having seen the parallel positioning of Southend’s tenders last week (and above), the firefighters over in Georgia have picked up on this latest FTWA fashion…and decided that that is the way they want to go too. Normally these fads last a few weeks at most…

Jonny: 8.8; Kerry: 8.9; Marc: 8.9; Nick: 8.7.

United Airlines New York Newark to Porto 4 May

A blast from the past in Portugal…

Judges’ comments: This is not the first time that a Portuguese airport has opted for the coloured water arch to herald the start of a United Airlines service. Back in May 2016, Lisbon Airport took this approach and not only won its individual week, it also claimed the top of the leader board (with a score of 39.0) but then proceeded to hold onto the #1 spot all year to be crowned overall champion. No such joy for Porto, but a creditable fourth position in a competitive week…

Jonny: 8.7; Kerry: 8.8; Marc: 8.7; Nick: 8.9.

ViaAir Austin to Tulsa 6 May

The second of two FTWAs featuring a regional jet this week…and this one is best of the brace…

Judges’ comments: It always good to see an airport accept the feedback of the anna.aero judges and then to try and act upon that advice. That is evident here in Tulsa…as the airport has increased its score from the 28.8 it achieved in March (for the start of Frontier Airlines’ Denver service)…up to 30.7 this week. In a less competitive seven days this FTWA may well have taken the victory lap….

Jonny: 8.1; Kerry: 7.8; Marc: 7.1; Nick: 7.7.

Norwegian Amsterdam to New York JFK 7 May 

Norwegian Amsterdam

Aircraft washing facility now open at Schiphol…

Judges’ comments: Its hard to tell whether this is the FTWA for the first flight by Norwegian to JFK from Amsterdam, or whether the aircraft is being washed so that it looks good ready for all the pictures which will be taken later when it has the real water arch. The anna.aero judges have heard that the aircraft wash prices are very reasonable at Schiphol…and they are hand finished by a trained technician…

Jonny: 6.2; Kerry: 5.5; Marc: 5.4; Nick: 5.3.


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