Portuguese pride restored with Lisbon Airport win

FTWA Award Lisbon

Celebrating with their certificate awarded for the splendid FTWA for the arrival of Air Canada rouge at Lisbon last week are (from left to right bottom row): Sergio Jesus, Miguel Yochicawa, Rui Oliveira, Carlos Amaro; and
(from left to right top row): João Ascenção, António Viegas, António Raposo, Vitor Canceiro, Nelson Conde.

I’m pretty sure that no FTWA was arranged for the returning Portuguese football team, which crashed out of the World Cup despite high expectations. At least the firefighters at the capital city airport were able to restore a little national pride last week with their ‘Arch of Triumph’ win — especially as the competition is getting increasingly tougher.

With around 150 FTWAs already submitted so far this year, it is getting harder for global airports to make an impact on this ferociously competitive alternative airport marketing award. An average score is now just below 25 (24.84), whereas last year it was two points lower (22.97). This raising of standards is exemplified by this week’s ‘Arch of Triumph’ winner, a tasty little effort from the boys and girls at Frankfurt Airport. Its winning score of 36.6 secures it fourth spot on the 2014 leader board, yet if this FTWA had been submitted in last year’s competition – it would have won the overall annual prize by 0.4 points. Keep Monitoring!

Date Route FTWA Airport Score
24 April United Airlines Houston Intercontinental to Munich Munich (MUC)


1 February Qatar Airways Cargo Doha to Dubai Al Maktoum Dubai Al Maktoum (DWC)


13 June TAROM Iasi to Milan/Bergamo Iasi (IAS)


24 June China Southern Airlines Guangzhou/Changsha to Frankfurt Frankfurt (FRA)


14 April LinksAir Doncaster Sheffield to Isle of Man Doncaster Sheffield (DSA)


21 June Air Canada rouge Toronto Pearson to Lisbon Lisbon (LIS)


2 June Air Dolomiti Milan/Bergamo to Munich Milan/Bergamo (BGY)


3 March bmi regional Newcastle to Brussels Newcastle (NCL)


22 May Qatar Airways Doha to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen (SAW)


5 June Flybe London Southend to Münster/Osnabrück London Southend (SEN)


China Southern Airlines Guangzhou (via Changsha) to Frankfurt 24 June

China Southern Airlines Guangzhou (via Changsha) to Frankfurt

Unlike the German national football team, Frankfurt crushed its opposition this week.

Judge’s comments: Much like a fantastic route launch cake, it’s this type of FTWA that puts a spring in the step of anna.aero’s four esteemed judges. It’s that good, that last year this would have won the overall 2013 competition. Wunderbar!!

Marc: 9.1; Paul: 8.8; Ralph: 9.3; Vlad: 9.4.

China Eastern Airlines Shanghai Pudong to Toronto Pearson 25 June

China Eastern Airlines Shanghai Pudong to Toronto Pearson

Nobody told the Toronto Pearson firefighters that an A340-600 was a wide-body aircraft.

Judge’s comments: The clue is in the name. Fire Truck Water ARCH. Not Fire Truck Water Wing Wash…which is precisely what the China Eastern aircraft is receiving from the Toronto Pearson firefighters. Unless a flock of Canada Geese had just flown over and deposited the remains of their lunch on the A340-600s wings of course.

Marc: 5.4; Paul: 6.1; Ralph: 3.4; Vlad: 4.7.

Air Canada rouge Toronto Pearson to Manchester 27 June

Air Canada rouge Toronto Pearson to Manchester

Grey skies scuppered the visual impact of this FTWA.

Judge’s comments: Much like the calls for goal-line technology which has been introduced at the World Cup for the first time, the marketing team at Manchester Airport must be leading the calls for FTWAs with coloured water to be permitted in this global competition, especially given the local weather at the north-west England airport. The obvious obstacle here would then be what colour to use, with 50% of staff wanting red (Manchester United) and 50% wanting blue (Manchester City).

Marc: 5.5; Paul: 7.6; Ralph: 4.5; Vlad: 3.9.

SAS Copenhagen to Montpellier 28 June

SAS Copenhagen to Montpellier

Old tender = low pressure; new tender = high pressure.

Judge’s comments: Textbook ‘Big Boy, Little Boy’ here, but then what do you expect when you pull out different tender equipment to perform such a precise piece of airport marketing as a FTWA. Next time, match up the kit better and you’ll score higher.

Marc: 5.6; Paul: 5.2; Ralph: 5.6; Vlad: 5.8.

Flybe Birmingham to Reykjavik/Keflavik 29 June

Flybe Birmingham to Reykjavik/Keflavik

This is a night shot as the picture was taken at approximately 2330.

Judge’s comments: At this time of the year, it doesn’t really get dark in Iceland, so as you can expect, some strange things happen. FTWAs there are clearly no exception, as this example shows. It represents a re-enactment of an old Viking ceremony performed at this time of the year in homage to the old God of Sun – Sol or Sunna. If FTWAs were to be judged on this fact alone then of course it would score a perfect 10, but unfortunately for the firefighters at Reykjavik/Keflavik, it is judged according international airport marketing standards where ‘Leaping Dolphins’ are gods.

Marc: 5.7; Paul: 7.7; Ralph: 6.7; Vlad: 6.0.

ORENAIR Moscow Sheremetyevo to Xi’an 30 June

ORENAIR Moscow Sheremetyevo to Xi’an

If only these water jets met above the aircraft fuselage rather than the starboard wing.

Judge’s comments: Another case of so close, yet so far. To deliver 80% of a perfect pair of ‘Leaping Dolphins’ is perhaps more irritating than completely goofing an FTWA. The firefighters at Moscow Sheremetyevo must be kicking themselves as they could have restored some national pride after being dumped out of the World Cup by Algeria last week.

Marc: 7.2; Paul: 7.9; Ralph: 6.2; Vlad: 6.2.

PEOPLExpress Newport News to New York Newark 30 June

Great view of the FTWA from seat 7F.

Judge’s comments: We love the idea of internal shots of FTWAs, but we are purists when we judge these airport marketing masterpieces, so we like to see the whole picture. Fortunately, we have an external shot as well, but it doesn’t get much better. Extra points for internal shot and use of double water jet on the port side of the FTWA, but on the whole it’s a bit of a New Jersey car wreck.

Marc: 6.3; Paul: 6.0; Ralph: 6.5; Vlad: 7.0.


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