Europe extends its lead in inter-regional competition

This week’s winner, the Belgian hub in Brussels, is taking home its second ‘Arch of Triumph’ title, having previously won last year securing fourth spot overall in the process with a score of 36.9. The result of 35.7 which was recorded this week is clearly a small step backwards in the FTWA standards for the airport, and it also only managed to take fifth place in the 2015 competition, with still half of the year to go. Of the ten airports which entered the competition this week, five were first time entrants (Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Warsaw Chopin, Orlando Sanford, Rosario and Linköping) with the remaining four airports at least having entered once before, in the 2015 competition or in previous years. The win for Europe, after two weeks break, sees the region reassert itself in the inter-regional competition, having gained 43% of all FTWA victories so far in 2015. North America and Asia, are in joint second spot, both with 24% of wins each. Keep Monitoring!!

Date Route FTWA Airport Score
5 Jun Wizz Air Košice to Milan/Bergamo Košice (KSC) 36.8
15 Jun Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi to Hong Kong Hong Kong (HKG) 36.7
19 May Icelandair Reykjavik/Keflavik to Portland Portland (PDX) 36.7
16 June Vistara Delhi to Bengaluru Bengaluru (BLR) 36.3
30 June SunExpress Izmir to Brussels Brussels (BRU) 35.7
7 May American Airlines New York JFK to Birmingham Birmingham (BHX) 35.3
1 Jun Jetstar Japan Tokyo Narita to Hong Kong Tokyo Narita (NRT) 35.0
05 Feb Transaero Airlines Moscow Vnukovo to Delhi Delhi (DEL) 34.9
18 Apr airBaltic Riga to Aalborg Aalborg (AAL) 32.9
1 May Air China Beijing to Budapest Budapest (BUD) 32.6

SunExpress Izmir to Brussels 30 June

SunExpress Izmir to Brussels

Flipper would almost be proud of those ‘Leaping Dolphin’ water jets…

Judge’s Comments: I know that there are plenty of master chocolatiers and brewers in Belgium, but clearly there are clearly some master firefighters at the airport too. A damn fine arch and well-worthy of the fifth spot it now resides in on the 2015 overall leader board.

Jonny: 9.1; Marc: 8.9; Paul: 8.9; Ralph: 8.8.

Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa to Cape Town 30 June


Interesting angle, shame about the wind…

Judge’s Comments: We love a bit of elevation when it comes to an FTWA. Indeed last year’s winner at Munich was taken from the airport’s ATC tower. So we love the slight overhead angle of this shot at Cape Town, we’d just like to be able to see more of the arch. Next time guys, next time…

Jonny: 4.0; Marc: 5.5; Paul: 5.3; Ralph: 6.3.

Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk to Karslruhe/Baden-Baden 30 June

Turkish Airlines Istanbul Atatürk to Karslruhe/Baden-Baden

Is that a baggage truck photo bombing the left-hand tender…?

Judge’s Comments: As airports seek ever-greater efficiencies to cope with the reduced aeronautical revenues gleaned from LCCs, operational equipment is evidently an area where cost savings can be made in Southern Germany. Here we see the latest piece of integrated kit…known as a baggage tender…capable of pulling eight baggage dollies but also able to create fine FTWAs.

Jonny: 8.2; Marc: 8.4; Paul: 8.1; Ralph: 7.7.

Orange Air Orlando Sanford to Cancun 1 July

Orange Air Orlando Sanford to Cancun

Classic ‘Gangnam Style’ FTWA in Florida…

Judge’s Comments: At the height of his global fame, there was talk of a Psy theme park, and naturally Florida was one of the potential locations. However the relative flop of his follow-up song to Gangnam Style – Gentlemen ‒ which only reached #5 on the US Billboard charts (incidentally Gangnam Style only managed #2) curtailed the development of the attraction in the US. There must still be some of his fans in the Orlando Sanford fire station however…

Jonny: 5.4; Marc: 5.6; Paul: 5.2; Ralph: 4.5.

SWISS Zurich to Malta 1 July

SWISS Zurich to Malta

Did the left tender switch off about two secs before picture was taken…?

Judge’s Comments: Like many things in life, there should be nothing premature about an FTWA. It kinda leaves the recipient wanting more…which is exactly what has happened here in Malta. Hold your fire and give us more next time…

Jonny: 8.5; Marc: 7.7; Paul: 6.6; Ralph: 3.6.

Wizz Air Ohrid to Basel 1 July

Wizz Air Ohrid to Basel

Ohrid’s new aircraft wash facility now open…

Judge’s Comments: Wizz Air’s old livery (not 100% sure about the new one yet) is one of the judge’s favourites, and their aircraft always look at their best when they are nice and clean (however there is still that feeling that Wizz Air asked the aircraft paint shop for the leftover colours that nobody else ever wanted). So thanks to the Ohrid airport fire station for that…but next time, just concentrate on giving us a nice FTWA…

Jonny: 3.1; Marc: 4.8; Paul: 4.1; Ralph: 4.5.

GOL Rio de Janeiro Galeao to Rosario 2 June

GOL Rio de Janeiro Galeao to Rosario

Er, I can see the tenders and a bit of a jet from the left-hand one but that’s it…

Judge’s Comments: Textbook ‘Big Boy, Little boy’ here in Argentina for the new route from Brazil. Maybe the Argentinian airport is trying to say something about the two nation’s respective footballing prowess at last year’s World Cup when Brazil was smashed 7-1 by Germany in the semi-final, whereas Argentina made it to the final, only to still succumb to the European team. It’s always about football with them two…

Jonny: 1.5; Marc: 3.1; Paul: 1.9; Ralph: 1.0. France Paris Orly to Warsaw Chopin 3 July France Paris Orly to Warsaw Chopin

This type of FTWA creates tension in the offices…

Judge’s Comments: Fire tenders with articulated booms create a division in the opinions, and indeed scores, of the judges. While some are happy for them to be used by the airport in question, other judges feel that the use of such equipment gives those firefighters an unfair advantage, a bit like one high jumper having springs in their running shoes while the rest of the competitors have standard issue spikes. The debate continues…and somebody has had a sulky face all week in the office…

Jonny: 9.0; Marc: 9.1; Paul: 9.5; Ralph: 6.7.

Czech Airlines Prague to Växjö 6 July

Czech Airlines Prague to Växjö

Great jet/sky/cloud artistic integration – rubbish arch…

Judge’s Comments: Dramatic skies can help to create mood and atmosphere in an FTWA picture when you are trying to stand out against lots of other airports from around the world to secure the weekly winners certificate. However, get the basics right first…like two distinct water jets and two visible fire tenders…let Mother Nature worry about the backdrop…

Jonny: 3.7; Marc: 3.5; Paul: 3.5; Ralph: 3.5.

Czech Airlines Prague to Linköping 6 July

Czech Airlines Prague to Linköping

Nice picture of plane, not much of an arch…

Judge’s Comments: Proper briefing of your photographer is essential to capturing the special moment of an inaugural flight. Yes the arriving aircraft is important, but we need to see the arch first and foremost, or else why bother getting the fire trucks out of the station. Clearly the photographer is a frustrated plane spotter…upset with all the water spoiling his picture of the ATR 72-600…which he first saw last year on a spotting trip to Prague (yawn)…

Jonny: 3.6; Marc: 4.4; Paul: 4.4; Ralph: 5.1.


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