Two recent winners pose for posterity – Athens and Aalborg; Europe wins again this week

Athens Airport FTWA

Athens Airport won its first ever ‘Arch of Triumph’ award in Part II of the recent S15 public votes – having secured 33% of all votes. We feel certain that ATH’s fire department as well as the firefighters, are looking forward to seeing this photo published. Well here you go…show your wives, kids and grandkids…

Aalborg Airport FTWA

Last week’s winners, Aalborg Airport, were ready with the hammer and a nail to put the ‘Arch of Triumph’ certificate up on the fire station wall after their recent victory. Showing off their spoils were: firefighter Michael Skytt; Fire Chief Kim Lessél; and firefighter Flemming Christensen.

So far this year we have had 10 weeks of competition in the 2015 ‘Arch of Triumph’ which have been judged by the expert judges (there has also been two weeks of public votes). The average winning score so far this year has been 29.7, so this week’s winner, Berlin Tegel with 32.1, is solidly above that mean score. Both of these results are also well above the average achieved in the first 10 weeks of competition in 2014, when the mean winning score was just 24.7 – so the standards in global FTWAs are clearly still rising. Last year, Berlin Tegel’s FTWA would have seen it take second spot in Week 10 of the 2014 battle, whereas this year it has had to settle for third. By the end of the year, the score of 32.1 would have only been worthy of 20th place overall. Just goes to show you how tough winning this prestigious trophy is. Keep Monitoring!!

Date Route FTWA Airport Score
05 Feb Transaero Airlines Moscow Vnukovo to Delhi Delhi (DEL) 34.9
18 Apr airBaltic Riga to Aalborg Aalborg (AAL) 32.9
24 Apr Adria Airways Ljubljana to Berlin Tegel Berlin Tegel (TXL) 32.1
14 Feb Porter Airlines Toronto City to Charleston Charleston (CHS) 31.9
2 Mar Aeromexico Mexico City to Medellin Medellin (MDE) 31.2
16 Dec Air Moldova Chisinau to Turin Turin (TRN) 30.7
19 Mar Silver Airways Charleston to Tampa Charleston (CHS) 29.1
12 Jan SeaPort Airlines Muscle Shoals to Nashville Muscle Shoals (MSL) 28.8
14 Jan InselAir Aruba Aruba to Manaus Manaus (MAO) 25.6
02 Feb Jetstar Pacific Airways Ban Me Thuot to Haiphong Ban Me Thuot (BMV) 20.0

Adria Airways Ljubljana to Berlin Tegel 24 April

Adria Airways Ljubljana to Berlin Tegel

Wind-effected, yet still showing signs of precision German engineering…

Judge’s Comments: Despite the stiff breeze gusting from the direction of Berlin Tegel’s terminal, the airport’s firefighters dealt with nature’s challenges nobly. But for the wind, a picture taken slightly too early, and the right-hand tender being half a degree too low with its water jet…this would have scored more.

Marc: 8.1; Paul: 6.9; Ralph: 8.8; Vlad: 8.3.

Adria Airways Ljubljana to Stockholm Arlanda 23 April

Adria Airways Ljubljana to Stockholm Arlanda

This FTWA is reminiscent of the mountain peaks behind the airport in Ljubljana…

Judge’s Comments: Matching an FTWA with the snow-capped peaks in the background of the shot is a worthy effort from the firefighters at Ljubljana. The airport has never entered the competition before now…and its first FTWA is good start. Hopefully this is just a preliminary marker…with improvements to be anticipated in the future.

Marc: 6.6; Paul: 9.8; Ralph: 7.5; Vlad: 7.4.

VLM Airlines Antwerp to Southampton 23 April

VLM Airlines Antwerp to Southampton

A seldom seen specialist FTWA from Southampton…

Judge’s Comments: One of the UK’s most-loved aircraft, the Supermarine Spitfire, was designed and developed in Southampton. This FTWA, is evocative of the WWII fighter’s sleek lines, and is known locally as the ‘Spitfire Curve’, but its delivery is rarely practised outside of the south of England…and is therefore only recognised by the trained eyes of the judges.

Marc: 7.8; Paul: 6.7; Ralph: 8.5; Vlad: 7.9.

Transcarga Caracas to Miami 23 April

Transcarga Caracas to Miami

A rare cargo FTWA found in Miami…

Judge’s Comments: Miami Airport certainly caters for the ‘exotic’ carriers of Central and South America, be they passenger or cargo airlines – no exception here with Venezuela’s Transcarga (who?). Cargo carriers did well in 2014’s ‘Arch of Triumph’ competition, with Qatar Airways Cargo picking up the #3 and #4 positions with FTWAs at Dubai Al Maktoum and Brussels respectively. This FTWA is unlikely to reach those heights…but it’s still nice to see.

Marc: 5.9; Paul: 6.8; Ralph: 6.7; Vlad: 5.9.

AlbaStar Milan/Bergamo to Lourdes Tarbes 24 April

AlbaStar Milan/Bergamo to Lourdes Tarbes

This FTWA is not an apparition…it’s the real thing…

Judge’s Comments: The pilgrimage towards ‘Arch of Triumph’ victory was begun at Milan/Bergamo this week, welcoming the AlbaStar service to Tarbes Lourdes. Whether this was the 18th time this vision of FTWA majesty has been witnessed in northern Italy or whether the flight number was 1858 is unclear. To be a winner this week, it may well need divine intervention…

Marc: 7.4; Paul: 7.9; Ralph: 8.2; Vlad: 7.2.

La Compagnie London Luton to New York Newark 24 April

La Compagnie London Luton to New York Newark

La FTWA for La Compagine at LLA…

Judge’s Comments: It was all-business for this FTWA at Luton this week, as the airport welcomed the return of premium-only services to New York (Newark and not JFK) after a near seven-year gap. The water jets will no doubt have been in homage to the numerous bottles of champagne that will have been popped during the 5,500-kilometre inaugural flight.

Marc: 7.4; Paul: 7.5; Ralph: 7.7; Vlad: 7.0.

Hainan Airlines Chongqing to Rome Fiumicino 27 April

Hainan Airlines Chongqing to Rome Fiumicino

An FTWA in desperate need of a Roman Aqueduct…

Judge’s Comments: Normally we would brand this type of FTWA as a ‘Dukes of Hazzard’, as the arch has a gap that can only be bridged by a death-defying leap from the General Lee, but in this instance we have of course renamed it the ‘Roman Aqueduct’, after the pioneering engineering technique perfected over 2,000 years ago. Let’s hope it’s not another 2,000 years before the Roman airport firefighters perfect their FTWAs…

Marc: 4.8; Paul: 5.9; Ralph: 5.4; Vlad: 4.0.

VLM Airlines Waterford to Birmingham 27 April

VLM Airlines Waterford to Birmingham

Side-on photography lets this FTWA down…

Judge’s Comments: Great branding presence for Birmingham Airport in this FTWA, however the lack of a pair of tenders and the fact we can’t fully appreciate the shape of the arch has let this effort down. Definitely not bostin’ in Brum…

Marc: 7.7; Paul: 8.8; Ralph: 8.0; Vlad: 6.1.


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