Arch of Triumph 2015 winner revealed; has Sydney finally done enough to secure top spot from Birmingham?

The best FTWA in 2015. When VLM Airlines launched its thrice-weekly service from Antwerp to Birmingham, little did it know that it would help the UK airport attain the accolade of being the Arch of Triumph for last year. Shame the European regional airline is withdrawing the route in March.

The best FTWA in 2015. When VLM Airlines launched its thrice-weekly service from Antwerp to Birmingham, little did it know that it would help the UK airport attain the accolade of being the Arch of Triumph for last year. Shame the European regional airline is withdrawing the route in March.

Coming into the final week of competition, the omens did not look good. With VLM Airlines announcing over the festive season the canning of the Antwerp to Birmingham route in March, the service which has held the top spot in 2015 Arch of Triumph competition since its start on 5 October, nerves will have been jangling in the West Midlands. Yet the UK airport managed to hang on. All this turmoil, and Birmingham’s nemesis in FTWA terms, Sydney Airport, had been at it again in the final week of the contest. With four FTWAs in the last five weeks of the 2015 Arch of Triumph competition ‒ it had thrown everything (including the kitchen sink from the marketing department) at securing the prestigious title. But unfortunately all to no avail. If it’s of any small comfort to the Australian airport, it has recorded the most weekly wins in 2015, with its final success in week 44 of competition meaning it has three victories overall, usurping the achievements of Birmingham, Hong Kong and Charleston – all of which have two wins-a-piece over the last 12 months. All three winning Sydney FTWAs are also inside the top 10, showing the very high standards of water arches down under – and yet another accolade.

In terms of the inter-regional competition, Europe’s victory with 41% of weekly wins has finally been confirmed this week, something that was pretty much assured at the back end of the summer. Asia (23%) beat North America (18%) for second place, with Australasia (11%) putting some distance this week between itself and bottom-ranked South America (7%). Europe can also boast all of the winners in the three annual competitions which have been completed so far, with Birmingham joining previous winners Tenerife North (2013) and Munich (2014).

While it’s bravo for Birmingham, there’s no break for the world’s airports – as we are straight into the 2016 competition, with expectations high after a record-breaking 2015. Keep Monitoring!!

Date Route FTWA Airport Score
5 Oct VLM Airlines Antwerp to Birmingham Birmingham (BHX) 37.9
29 Nov Xiamen Airlines Fuzhou to Sydney Sydney (SYD) 37.8
21 Dec Pobeda Moscow Vnukovo to Milan/Bergamo Milan/Bergamo (BGY) 37.7
17 Oct Indonesia AirAsia X Denpasar to Sydney Sydney (SYD) 37.6
10 Jul flydubai Dubai to Faisalabad Faisalabad (LYP) 37.1
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 Jun Vistara Delhi to Bengaluru Bengaluru (BLR) 36.3
24 Dec Hainan Airlines Xi’an to Sydney Sydney (SYD) 36.1

Hainan Airlines Xi’an to Sydney 24 December

Another Antipodean FTWA master class in Sydney…

Another Antipodean FTWA master class in Sydney…

Judge’s Comments: With an unprecedented flood of route launches and indeed FTWAs over the last few weeks of 2015, the marketing department and ARFF guys and gals at Sydney can hardly be faulted for their combined efforts. Maybe 2016 will be their year, when Sydney will join those that have claimed victory in the three years of competition so far – Tenerife North, Munich and Birmingham. With four route launches already in the offing for 2016, including Qatar Airways in March, maybe, just maybe…

Jonny: 8.5; Marc: 9.2; Paul: 9.3; Ralph: 9.1.

Beijing Capital Airlines Hangzhou to Madrid 28 December

Gangnam Style FTWA spotted in Spanish capital…

Gangnam Style FTWA spotted in Spanish capital…

Judge’s Comments: The Gangnam Style FTWA is the best known of the Asian FTWA styles, so it is no surprise to see this type of water arch delivered for the start of the Beijing Capital Airlines service from Hangzhou to Madrid. Of course, with the route being celebrated in Spain, there is a flamenco feel to the FTWA too, as those of you with keen eyes will have noticed when seeing the swirl of spray…as this is meant to emulate the swirl of the flamenco dancer’s dress…what do you mean you can’t see it…heathens…

Jonny: 6.3; Marc: 6.1; Paul: 7.2; Ralph: 5.8.


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