Viennese fire fighters in a whirl after Arch of Triumph win

With the Air India 787-8 parked up behind them, the aircraft for which the winning FTWA was created

With the Air India 787-8 parked up behind them, the aircraft for which the winning FTWA was created, some of Vienna Airport’s fire fighters proudly display the latest adornment to the fire station walls – their first-ever Arch of Triumph certificate.

So far this year there have been 14 weeks of Arch of Triumph competition. Europe leads the way with six victories (43%), with Australasia (three; 21%) leading the chasing pack, which also includes Middle East and Asia (both two, 14%). However, perhaps a more telling metric is the number of weekly wins per entry. Based on this measure, Europe performs worst, having 45 entries so far in 2016 means its strike rate is 0.133 wins per entry. The star performer is actually the Middle East, achieving two wins from just four entries ‒ a small investment when there have been 98 FTWAs submitted to the judges overall in 2016. Keep monitoring!!

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
14-Apr bmi regional Munich to Southampton Munich (MUC) 36.8
06-Apr Air India Delhi to Vienna Vienna (VIE) 35.7
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

bmi regional Munich to Southampton 15 April

Munich’s fire fighters

Were Munich’s fire fighters expecting a bigger aircraft??

Judge’s Comments: Is this the health and safety brigade gone mad…or just prudence given the several incidents that we have been made aware of over the past few years of this competition…where over-enthusiastic fire crews have damaged inaugural aircraft? It’s a shame, because a more appropriately-sized FTWA may well have seen the German hub, and 2014 Arch of Triumph winner, reside a bit higher up the leader board than fifth…

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

Allegiant Air Jacksonville to New Orleans 14 April

New Orleans

The Big Easy FTWA down in New Orleans…

Judge’s Comments: Everything is New Orleans is relaxed…even down to the airport’s FTWA offerings. That is not to say these guys are not professional in their jobs…there is just a more chilled, stress-free attitude to life…and that vibe comes through in their marketing of new routes…

Jonny: 7.2; Marc: 6.6; Paul: 7.5; Ralph: 5.0.

Allegiant Air Orlando Sanford to Flint 14 April


A world first in Flint…a fly-past for an FTWA…

Judge’s Comments: We think that everyone in Flint was distracted by the aircraft advertising Allegiant Air’s low fares to Florida…and the resulting FTWA shows that. However, bookings by airport staff on the route did go through the roof…evidence that this type of marketing can still work…

Jonny: 6.5; Marc: 6.0; Paul: 7.0; Ralph: 4.4.

Allegiant Air Orlando Sanford to Richmond 14 April


Soon to be an FTWA of the past…with an Allegiant MD-80…

Judge’s Comments: Our intrepid roving reporter…and FTWA judge…Jonathan Ford was in Las Vegas meeting the great and the good from Allegiant Air last week ‒ see here ‒ where he discovered that the ULCC’s MD-80s will all be retired by 2020, replaced by ex-easyJet A319s…so this FTWA will become increasingly scarce…savour it while you can…

Jonny: 8.2; Marc: 7.2; Paul: 5.8; Ralph: 7.6.

Frontier Airlines Chicago O’Hare to St. Augustine 14 April


So much for Florida sunshine…turn the plane around…

Judge’s Comments: The Sunshine State…you’re having a laugh! Although these are unconfirmed reports, we believe that around half of the passengers on this first flight from Chicago demanded to be flown straight back to Illinois as the weather was better there than what was evident upon their arrival in Florida…leaving a pile of discarded flip-flops behind them in disgust…

Jonny: 2.1; Marc: 3.2; Paul: 4.8; Ralph: 2.6. 

Frontier Airlines Las Vegas to Colorado Springs 14 April


Are there three water jets coming from that right-hand tender??

Judge’s Comments:  We’ve had tenders with two water jets, but never three. While that is an Arch of Triumph first, which would have ordinarily scored highly with the judges…it seems that the wind had different ideas…

Jonny: 7.1; Marc: 6.3; Paul: 6.2; Ralph: 5.7.

Sun d’Or International Airlines Tel Aviv to Valencia 14 April

Sun d'Or

The FTWA is supposed to be for the aircraft not the follow-me vehicle…

Judge’s Comments: Surely the brief to the photographer on route launch FTWA pictures is clear…make sure you get the aircraft in the middle of the arch!! Not the Ford Focus Ops vehicle…I mean it’s not rocket science is it…its one notch below that…and it’s called airport marketing…

Jonny: 6.5; Marc: 5.4; Paul: 6.5; Ralph: 3.1.

bmi regional Munich to Southampton 15 April

bmi regional

The ERJ 145 emerges from a perfect water curtain…

Judge’s Comments: The ideal Arch of Triumph sees the aircraft in the centre of a pair of well-formed leaping dolphins. What we have here on the south coast of the UK, if it has a name, is an off-centre pair of unenergetic sea cows…wallowing in the dark shallows…

Jonny: 6.1; Marc: 6.3; Paul: 6.0; Ralph: 6.9.

Finnair Helsinki to Edinburgh 18 April


A virtual arch using a rainbow for one side…brilliant…

Judge’s Comments: A rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. However, using this spectacular creation of nature is not permitted under FTWA rules 3.2, sub-section iv, paragraph 1.1, which states – ‘Use water only.’ No ambiguity there…

Jonny: 4.2; Marc: 5.7; Paul: 5.5; Ralph: 7.5.

Sprint Air Radom to Berlin Tegel 18 April


At least the arch was the appropriate size for the aircraft…

Judge’s Comments: Quite often the use of turboprop aircraft on inaugural services seems to bamboozle fire crews the world over, and we end up with towering FTWAs more appropriate for an A330 or 787-8. So while the size of this FTWA is indeed fitting for the Saab 340 used, its not curvy enough for the judges, though well-centred and with nice clear trucks…

Jonny: 7.8; Marc: 8.1; Paul: 7.6; Ralph: 7.0.


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