The busiest week for 2016 so far with 11 FTWAs entered; Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden poses with its winner’s certificate

On 11 March, Wizz Air started services from its home base of Budapest to Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden

On 11 March, Wizz Air started services from its home base of Budapest to Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, with the German airport winning the weekly competition with only its second ever entry into the Arch of Triumph competition. The airport’s fire crew are over-the-moon with the fact that this certificate will now grace their fire station walls.

One of the things that we have to decide on a regular basis is what part of the world an FTWA airport is in, take Cebu Pacific Air’s launch to Guam this week. Our data elves were initially unsure as to what part of the world OAG (our schedule data provider and therefore our geographical oracle too) allocates this US territory in the Western Pacific. In turns out it is included in Australasia. This is important for our data elves to know, as they like to keep a tally of where all the weekly entrants are from, especially this week as six global regions are represented, and of course to determine who is winning the inter-regional battle for glory this year. The win for Australasia lifts the region into joint top spot with Europe, as both now have three wins each from the 11 competition weeks so far. In the next newsletter we have the first public vote of the year, heralding the start of S16, where anna.aero’s readers get to choose what FTWA they think is the best from those entered. Keep monitoring – and voting next week!!

Date Route FTWA Airport Score
01-Feb Jetstar Airways Nelson to Wellington Wellington (WLG) 37.3
08-Jan Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong to Gold Coast Gold Coast (OOL) 37.2
02-Feb AirAsia X Kuala Lumpur to Delhi Delhi (DEL) 37.0
11-Mar Wizz Air Budapest to Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden (FKB) 36.9
01-Mar LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw Chopin to Luxembourg Luxembourg (LUX) 32.7
15-Mar Cebu Pacific Air Manila to Guam Guam (GUM 32.3
12-Jan China Southern Airlines Wuhan to Dubai Dubai (DXB) 32.1
25-Jan Chalair Bordeaux to Montpellier Montpellier (MPL) 31.9
16-Feb SpiceJet Jaipur to Dubai Dubai (DXB) 27.9
25-Feb JetBlue Airways Fort Lauderdale to Quito Quito (UIO) 27.6

Cebu Pacific Air Manila to Guam 15 March

Cebu Pacific Air Manila to Guam 15 March

A little bit more water pressure from both tenders and this FTWA may well have been topping the leader board…

Judge’s Comments:  What separates greatness from normality? In many cases it’s the slimmest of margins – the overtaking manoeuvre that didn’t quite come off that means an F1 driver finishes second and not first, or reacting to the starter’s gun at the beginning of a 100m sprint final just that millisecond quicker than your opponents – it can often be a hair’s breadth between winning and just being good. And that’s what has happened in Guam, with slightly more water pressure this FTWA may not have just won this week’s competition, but it may have been sitting pretty at the top of the leader board…instead it’s just sixth…

Jonny: 8.0; Marc: 8.1; Paul: 6.7; Ralph: 9.5.

Airnorth Brisbane West Wellcamp to Cairns 15 March

Airnorth Brisbane West Wellcamp to Cairns 15 March

We’re loving the symmetry with the mountains…!

Judge’s Comments: Another five to 10 degrees incline on that right-hand tender and it would have been a perfect FTWA and almost certainly Arch of Triumph this week. Instead the Australian airport musters third place only. Strewth…

Jonny: 7.5; Marc: 7.3; Paul: 6.9; Ralph: 7.5.

Philippine Airlines Cebu to Los Angeles 15 March

Philippine Airlines Cebu to Los Angeles 15 March

We know it’s a big plane…but you can get closer than that…

Judge’s Comments: Quite often firefighters from around the world are wary of getting too close to the aircraft conducting the inaugural flight. When it comes to larger types, like the Philippine Airlines A340 here in Cebu which was operating the first flight to Los Angeles, this guarded approach seems to often be even more exaggerated. This results in hideously misshapen FTWAs with a huge gap in the middle…and with the public vote next week…other airports take note not to do the same…

Jonny: 5.9; Marc: 5.5; Paul: 5.9; Ralph: 4.7.

Virgin America San Francisco to Denver 15 March

From inside this FTWA looks pretty good…from outside…oh dear…

Judge’s Comments: Initial appearances can be deceptive… a bit like the Colorado state animal…the Bighorn Sheep…which can be seen at the Georgetown Wildlife Viewing Station in the US state. I mean the name should give it away really, but these normally affable chaps can turn a bit feisty during the mating season. The same can be said for this FTWA…looks great from inside the aircraft…but from outside…it’s all got a bit messy…

Jonny: 3.8; Marc: 5.2; Paul: 5.5; Ralph: 6.2.

Aeromexico Mexico City to Santo Domingo 16 March

Aeromexico Mexico City to Santo Domingo 16 March

Sunrise in Santo Domingo…beautiful…FTWA…could do better…

Judge’s Comments:  Taking advantage of the time difference between Mexico and the Dominican Republic, the Aeromexico service from Mexico City leaves in the middle of the night…but arrives at 0720 in Santo Domingo. The benefit of this is you get a stunning sunrise backdrop to your FTWA on your launch flight. Airline network planners take note…schedule your new services to make the most of nature’s timeline…

Jonny: 8.2; Marc: 7.4; Paul: 6.8; Ralph: 7.1.

Icelandair Reykjavik/Keflavik to Chicago O’Hare 16 March

Icelandair Reykjavik/Keflavik to Chicago O’Hare 16 March

Blimey, strong winds…torrential downpour…excessive apron clutter…

Judge’s Comments: A massive range of scores here, with a 5.7 variance between the highest and lowest for this FTWA in Chicago…clearly this effort has divided opinion in the ranks of the anna.aero judges. Fortunately for the US airport it had the opportunity to overcome the horrendous conditions on the day (so much so that this picture was taken inside)…with another launch two days later…

Jonny: 1.8; Marc: 3.9; Paul: 7.5; Ralph: 2.5.

Qatar Airways Doha to Boston 16 March

Qatar Airways Doha to Boston 16 March

Was a there a tea party held for this route launch…?

Judge’s Comments:  The Tea Party is an iconic event in American history, when demonstrators, some disguised as Native Americans, in defiance of the Tea Act of 10 May 1773 destroyed an entire shipment of tea sent by the East India Company. They boarded the ships and threw the chests of tea into Boston Harbor (you can still see some floating in the background). The launch of Qatar Airways’ new Doha service will go down in Boston Airport’s history as an iconic event, especially with the war of words between the MEB3 and USB3 carriers, but this FTWA will be quickly forgotten…

Jonny: 5.1; Marc: 5.2; Paul: 5.7; Ralph: 4.9.

China Eastern Airlines Shanghai Pudong to Chicago O’Hare 18 March

China Eastern Airlines Shanghai Pudong to Chicago O’Hare 18 March

And there I was thinking the M11 was close to London Stansted Airport…

Judge’s Comments: Clearly gate M11 is the new route launch gate at Chicago O’Hare (for international services at least) as the Icelandair service from two days before also used this facility. What has improved dramatically is the weather ‒ less wind (in the Windy City) and rain ‒ as well as less apron clutter…the FTWA is also better…scoring 13.4 more points than its previous effort this week…

Jonny: 7.5; Marc: 7.3; Paul: 6.0; Ralph: 8.3.

tame Guayaquil to New York JFK 18 March

tame Guayaquil to New York JFK 18 March

Not a lot of difference between the colour of the sky and the apron…

Judge’s Comments: While we advocate images with no apron clutter…we also suggest that metres and metres of grey apron concrete is equally dismal…again another invaluable pointer for those airport marketing teams which are poised to take pictures in the next few days at the start of the summer season…in the hopes of winning the public vote…

Jonny: 7.2; Marc: 6.8; Paul: 5.5; Ralph: 7.8.

Vueling Barcelona to Newcastle 19 March

Vueling Barcelona to Newcastle 19 March

Here we are in Newcastle for this FTWA…Tyne Bridge it’s not!

Judge’s Comments:  Just over two years ago Newcastle Airport won the Arch of Triumph, and at the same time it became the UK’s first-ever weekly winner with this FTWA, which sought to emulate the famous Tyne Bridge, found in downtown Newcastle. The airport leapt into second place on the 2014 leader board (with a score of 31.5), but this week it has only managed to get a score 22.1, for yet another FTWA with a single tender…making it the third in four weeks of this new phenomenon…and the second time a UK airport has done it…following Aberdeen last week…has there been a cut in airport marketing budgets as we come the end of the financial year…??

Jonny: 3.1; Marc: 5.5; Paul: 7.0; Ralph: 6.5.

PenAir Portland to North Bend 21 March

PenAir Portland to North Bend 21 March

Who gave the marketing intern the camera…?

Judge’s Comments: The inexperience of the photographer is blatantly evident in this picture from North Bend in Oregon. According to the anna.aero New Route Database, the last route to launch at the airport was in July 2015 when United Airlines started services from Denver…and it shows…

Jonny: 2.1; Marc: 4.1; Paul: 6.5; Ralph: 3.8.


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