Munich Airport crowned 2014 ‘Arch of Triumph’ winners
Despite last ditch efforts by our good friends in Croatia, India, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Spain, UK, Uruguay and the US, the last eight FTWAs of 2014 were not good enough to trouble the ‘Arch of Triumph’ delivered on 24 April by firefighters at Munich Airport for the arrival of the daily 767-400 service from Houston Intercontinental by United Airlines. Munich entered its FTWAs twice during 2014, eventually coming top out of the 250 entrants in the second year ‘Arch of Triumph’ competition. Europe easily won the inter-regional competition, having secured 63% of the 46 weekly wins over the course of the year, with Asia winning just six times to secure second place.
What the judges said about this world-beating FTWA…
Judge’s comments: What you are witnessing here is a piece of fine German engineering, and it just so happens that the result is an FTWA and not a car for a change. Munich has been a previous winner in the ‘Arch of Triumph’ and finished in fourth spot in the 2013 competition, but this FTWA could well seal victory in the 2014 competition with a score like that. Maybe the airport’s firefighters need to give some ideas to the city’s football team, who were far from world beaters last night. Ouch!
Marc: 9.5; Paul: 10; Ralph: 9.6; Vlad: 9.8.
Final standings for 2014 weekly winners
|24 April||United Airlines Houston Intercontinental to Munich||Munich (MUC)||
|9 September||Cebu Pacific Air Manila to Sydney||Sydney (SYD)||
|1 February||Qatar Airways Cargo Doha to Dubai Al Maktoum||Dubai Al Maktoum (DWC)||
|6 October||Qatar Airways Cargo Entebbe/Nairobo to Brussels||Brussels (BRU)||
|13 June||TAROM Iasi to Milan/Bergamo||Iasi (IAS)||
|24 June||China Southern Airlines Guangzhou/Changsha to Frankfurt||Frankfurt (FRA)||
|2 July||Transero Airlines Moscow Vnukovo to Taipei Taoyuan||Taipei Taoyuan (TPE)||
|14 April||LinksAir Doncaster Sheffield to Isle of Man||Doncaster Sheffield (DSA)||
|25 July||Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk to Gazipaşa||Gazipaşa (GZP)||
|2 December||Air Seychelles Mahé to Dar es Salaam||Dar es Salaam (DAR)||
|18 August||Finnair Helsinki to Kazan||Kazan (KZN)||
|21 June||Air Canada rouge Toronto Pearson to Lisbon||Lisbon (LIS)||
|7 August||Finnair Helsinki to Samara||Samara (KUF)||
|16 July||Pegasus Airlines Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen to Budapest||Budapest (BUD)||
|1 September||Thai AirAsia X Bangkok Don Mueang to Tokyo Narita||Tokyo Narita (NRT)||
|8 September||Garuda Indonesia Jakarta to London Gatwick||London Gatwick (LGW)||
|19 August||Frontier Airlines Washington Dulles to Minneapolis-St. Paul||Washington Dulles (IAD)||
|29 September||Estonian Air Tallinn to Stockholm Bromma||Stockholm Bromma (BMA)||
|13 December||British Airways London Gatwick to Fuerteventura||Fuerteventura (FUE)||
|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)||
|17 May||Etihad Regional Verona to Cambridge||Cambridge (CBG)||
|19 December||SWISS Geneva to Belgrade||Belgrade (BEG)||
|4 March||Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk to Rotterdam||Rotterdam (RTM)||
|1 December||China Airlines Taipei Taoyuan to Christchurch||Christchurch||
|18 January||Peach Aviation Osaka Kansai to Kaohsiung||Kaohsiung (KHH)||
|17 February||Air Europa Madrid to Almería||Almería (LEI)||
|17 November||Volaris Guadalajara to Orlando||Orlando (MCO)||
|22 February||Far Eastern Air Transport Taichung to Kinmen||Kinmen (KNH)||
|12 May||CityJet Cambridge to Amsterdam||Cambridge (CBG)||
|5 May||InterSky Zurich to Dresden||Dresden (DRS)||
|6 November||easyJet Hamburg to Lanzarote||Lanzarote (ACE)||
|6 February||flydubai Dubai to Hofuf||Hofuf (HOF)||
|13 October||Virgin America San Francisco to Dallas Love Field||Dallas (DAL)||
|13 March||Interjet Mexico City to Palenque||Palenque (PQM)||
|1 August||Spring Airlines Japan Tokyo Narita to Takamatsu||Tokyo Narita (NRT)||
|10 July||Flybe London Southend to Maastricht Aachen||Maastricht Aachen (MST)||
|16 October||FlySafair Johannesburg to Cape Town||Cape Town (CPT)||
|24 January||Tigerair Singapore Singapore to Malé||Malé (MLE)||
|24 November||NIKI Vienna to Abu Dhabi||Abu Dhabi (AUH)||
British Airways London Gatwick to Fuerteventura 13 December
Judge’s comments: When the boys and girls serving the Canary Islands’ airport fire stations get the shout that an FTWA is needed, Aena’s marketing department can sit back and relax, as they know these guys will deliver, as they have done in the past – this is Fuerteventura’s fourth entry since we started the competition last year. However, it has taken until now for them to secure their first win. Bravo!
Marc: 8.4; Paul: 7.2; Ralph: 8.3; Vlad: 8.5.
China Eastern Airlines Shanghai Pudong to Auckland 9 December
Judge’s comments: You wait all year for an FTWA from New Zealand and then you get one from each of its main airports all in December, and two this week. The first this week was a classic ‘Gangnam Style’ effort, undoubtedly put-on by Auckland’s finest to welcome its new Asian service from China Eastern. Unfortunately, New Zealand’s biggest airport was unable to match the winning performance of Christchurch from earlier this month – well this time anyway!
Marc: 6.9; Paul: 6.9; Ralph: 6.2; Vlad: 7.3.
Aeromexico Mexico City to Managua 10 December
Judge’s comments: Nightmare on Managua taxiway. Not Friday 13th, but Wednesday 10th of December, but even so this FTWA is a horror story only made worse by the photographer’s late arrival at the scene. Unless of course, he or she was trying to take a picture and film the Aeromexico arrival from Mexico City at the same time.
Marc: 4.2; Paul: 5.8; Ralph: 2.3; Vlad: 3.2..
Amaszonas Santa Cruz to Montevideo 11 December
Judge’s comments: Now I know that Uruguayans like a good barbeque, or ‘asado’, but I’m not sure they go for that much for pancakes. But that is clearly what has happened here, a pancaked FTWA, or a water cannon salute delivered at an angle below what we can safely call an arch. However, this is still not a bad effort from a region of the world that is yet to win its first ‘Arch of Triumph’. A wait that continues…
Marc: 6.4; Paul: 7.7; Ralph: 6.8; Vlad: 6.3.
Air Serbia Belgrade to Zagreb 12 December
Judge’s comments: Linking two capital cities of two states, which were previously at war with each other is a momentous occasion on any level. It should also act as an example of the social, political and economic benefits that commercial aviation can bring to the table in terms of a reconciliation and healing process between two nations that continues.
Marc: 8.6; Paul: 7.9; Ralph: 7.1; Vlad: 8.7.
Jetstar Airways Gold Coast to Wellington 12 December
Judge’s comments: Reminiscent of Bilbo (and Frodo) Baggins’ sword ‘Sting’ clashing with an Orc scimitar, this is a style of FTWA, known as the ‘Battle of the Five Armies’, which is rarely seen outside of Middle Earth ‒ somewhere near Wellington in New Zealand. For those of you readers, who enjoy your contemporary FTWAs and your Lord of the Rings, you will be happier than Gollum in a fish farm. However, anna.aero judges are purists, and puerile at the same time, so we don’t generally go in for these non-traditional styles. Now get back to The Shire.
Marc: 7.5; Paul: 8.0; Ralph: 7.4; Vlad: 7.1.
Azul Airlines Sao Paulo Viracopos to Orlando 15 December
Judge’s comments: Some of the world’s firefighters seem happy to go above and beyond when an inaugural service hits the tarmac at their respective airports, by not only providing an FTWA to keep the marketing executives happy, but also delivering an aircraft wash facility. This ‘Two-in-one’ FTWA, not to be confused with the ‘Ear-wash’ FTWA (where one side of the aircraft gets a good wash, including the pilot’s ears) is clearly on show here in Orlando.
Marc: 8.5; Paul: 6.4; Ralph: 6.5; Vlad: 7.0.
Blue Air Bucharest to Liverpool 15 December
Judge’s comments: The north-west UK’s famously rainy weather took its toll on this FTWA from Liverpool. As a first attempt from the airport, this is a good effort. Maybe it can do better when the Romanian LCC starts its Bacau route in March next year.
Marc: 6.8; Paul: 7.3; Ralph: 6.1; Vlad: 6.4.
Gulf Air Bahrain to Hyderabad 15 December
Judge’s comments: There are not many rules in this competition, but the first and most basic one is to get the fire tenders to provide a constant stream of water which ideally have their apex directly above the aircraft fuselage. The second and third rules – to do with angles in order to produce a fine arch and photographing the moment correctly – have more or less been adhered to here in Hyderabad. Which only makes the lack of following rule #1 more upsetting for those involved.
Marc: 6.5; Paul: 6.5; Ralph: 4.7; Vlad: 6.7.