Double bubble week in Arch of Triumph competition

The number of FTWAs received so far in 2016 moved past the 100-mark this week, a feat which was only achieved in late May during last year’s competition, which goes to prove that the ‘christening’ or ‘baptism’ of inaugural flights is more popular than ever! Of the 112 entries now recorded by the anna.aero judges, Europe has the lion’s share so far with 57 (51%) submissions, and indeed the region provided 12 out of the 15 FTWAs supplied this week. North America is a distant second, with 19 (17%) efforts, followed by Asia with 13 (12%). The average winning score of the first 14 weeks of the 2016 competition – remember the recent public vote is not scored by our judges – is 33.41. This is significantly higher than the 30.9 which had been achieved by the first 14 winners of 2015, so therefore represents a further improvement in global FTWA standards. 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
29-Apr Aer Lingus Belfast City to Alicante Alicante (ALC) 35.5
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

Aer Lingus Belfast City to Alicante 29 April

Aer Lingus Belfast City to Alicante 29 April

This fine FTWA is let down by a photo-bombing follow-me vehicle…

Judge’s Comments: This is a great FTWA, our judges loved the fact that the A320 was right on the centreline too, but it’s a shame about the follow-me vehicle ‘clutter’ on the apron. The whole concept of follow-me vehicles still amuses me ‒ the pilot has found his way between Belfast City and Alicante, a distance of 1,860 kilometres, but he can’t make it from the runway to the gate…

Jonny: 8.1; Marc: 8.9; Paul: 9.0; Ralph: 9.5.

PenAir Portland to Arcata-Eureka 21 April

PenAir Portland to Eureka 21 April

We can only see 50% of this arch…so surely it can only score 50% of its maximum potential score…

Judge’s Comments: When you can only see half of an FTWA, the maximum score is already limited (for most of our judges) to 50%. So photographers please note…get both sides of the arch in the picture…and you have a chance of a much higher overall score…

Jonny: 3.5; Marc: 4.4; Paul: 6.5; Ralph: 3.1.

Transavia Amsterdam to Dubrovnik 21 April

Transavia Amsterdam to Dubrovnik 21 April

Geographical features often distract FTWA photographers…

Judge’s Comments: The quality of this FTWA was clearly not even good enough to captivate the photographer on duty in Dubrovnik, as it seems like he or she is more interested in the mountains than Arch of Triumph on display…and we don’t blame them either…

Jonny: 5.2; Marc: 5.5; Paul: 6.8; Ralph: 4.4.

Czech Airlines Prague to Birmingham 22 April

Czech Airlines Prague to Birmingham 22 April

As usual a crosswind at BHX wreaks havoc…

Judge’s Comments: Birmingham Airport’s runway is in a north-south orientation (15-33), despite the prevailing winds being from the west or south-west – note that nearby Coventry (05-23) and East Midlands (09-27) airports are pretty much in the right orientation. So when the FTWA for the Czech Airlines aircraft gets blown about, what did we expect…?

Jonny: 8.5; Marc: 8.6; Paul: 9.2; Ralph: 8.2.

Edelweiss Air Zurich to Rio de Janeiro Galeao 22 April

Edelweiss Air Zurich to Rio de Janeiro Galeao 22 April

An FTWA that Jesse Duke would be proud of in Zurich…

Judge’s Comments: You dipstick! That’s a famous quote from Sheriff Rosco P Coltrane from the Dukes of Hazzard. It was also apparently what the Chief Fire Officer at Zurich Airport said to the Lead Fire Officer responsible for the FTWA above when he saw the gap in the arch, similar to all of the bridges in Hazzard County that those Dukes boys leapt over to evade the Sherriff. Yee-hah!!

Jonny: 7.3; Marc: 6.5; Paul: 7.0; Ralph: 5.3. 

KLM Amsterdam to Genoa 22 April

KLM Amsterdam to Genoa 22 April

Turning up late to an FTWA photo opp is airport marketing treason…

Judge’s Comments: Look, let’s be honest, this is not a great arch and was never going to win the weekly award. That said, the photographer seems to have arrived a few seconds too late…as the aircraft is already turning away. That is aviation marketing sacrilege in anyone’s books…

Jonny: 5.3; Marc: 4.9; Paul: 5.5; Ralph: 3.8.

KLM Amsterdam to Valencia 23 April

KLM Amsterdam to Valencia 23 April

Very nearly a very good FTWA from Valencia…

Judge’s Comments: This is a Spurs FTWA. High quality and entertaining…but ultimately beaten by a peer Spanish airport this week that was just more able to grind out the results when it was needed…like Leicester City. It’s a bit too angular, there’s a bit too much spray and water curtaining going on…which lets Valencia’s effort down…

Jonny: 8.0; Marc: 8.0; Paul: 8.5; Ralph: 7.6.

easyJet Lyon to Budapest 26 April

easyJet Lyon to Budapest 26 April

Was the photographer lying down…or still drunk from the night before when he/she attended the route opening travel trade event…?

Judge’s Comments: This is an interesting low angle for this FTWA picture. Was the photographer lying down? Maybe one of the ops guys on duty had a ‘bring your kid to work day’ and his six-year-old took the picture?? Either way, we sort of like it…

Jonny: 6.8; Marc: 7.0; Paul: 7.0; Ralph: 7.3.

Allegiant Air Cincinnati to Baltimore/Washington 29 April

Allegiant Air Cincinnati to Baltimore/Washington 29 April

We think this is the widest arch ever seen by the anna.aero judges…

Judge’s Comments: Is this just an optical illusion, as that looks like a massive arch, or is the aircraft still a long way away? Our data elves believe an A319’s wingspan to be about 36m (around 117 feet) which means that FTWA is somewhere between 130-150m wide. Blimey…that’s some impressive water pressure…

Jonny: 7.1; Marc: 7.2; Paul: 8.0; Ralph: 6.4.

British Airways London Heathrow to Menorca 29 April

British Airways London Heathrow to Menorca 29 April

Practice makes perfect…but not in this instance…

Judge’s Comments: That is a strangely damp-looking apron. There is water in some places…but not everywhere. Had the firefighters been having a practice before the BA aircraft arrived from London Heathrow? Perhaps they should have practiced just a little bit more…and achieved perfection…

Jonny: 6.9; Marc: 7.5; Paul: 7.8; Ralph: 7.8.

germanwings Cologne Bonn to Menorca 1 May

germanwings Cologne Bonn to Menorca 1 May

Two for the price of one FTWA??

Judge’s Comments: Take a close look at the next two FTWAs…both from Menorca… both for germanwings (germanwings/Eurowings – anyone else still confused with what’s going on there with the brand merger?) new services from Cologne Bonn and Düsseldorf…both on the same day and both with tender B-4 on the right-hand side…now go to the next FTWA…

Jonny: 6.7; Marc: 6.5; Paul: 6.8; Ralph: 6.1.

germanwings Düsseldorf to Menorca 1 May

germanwings Düsseldorf to Menorca 1 May

Interior terminal shot of the same arch which was used above…?

Judge’s Comments: …are we sure this isn’t the last one but from a different angle??? In the end, the anna.aero judges decided it was…or at least two very, very similar FTWAs. As a result the scores are identical…

Jonny: 6.7; Marc: 6.5; Paul: 6.8; Ralph: 6.1.

Monarch Airlines London Gatwick to Gibraltar 1 May

Monarch Airlines London Gatwick to Gibraltar 1 May

Stunning backdrop, shame the arch isn’t a bit better. Note how the winglet from the nearby plane looks like it’s the water nozzle for the right-hand truck!

Judge’s Comments: The sender of this FTWA (Stuart Finlayson at Gibraltar Airport), sent us some very interesting background information…“this was our first ever commercial water salute this side of 1944 when the airfield opened,” and “Note: the fire truck on the right facing east was having to contend with a 15kt headwind. No excuse, but still…”

Jonny: 9.0; Marc: 8.7; Paul: 8.5; Ralph: 8.5.

Ural Airlines Moscow Domodedovo to Lisbon 1 May

Ural Airlines Moscow Domodedovo to Lisbon 1 May

Oooh, different coloured half-arches. That could start a trend…

Judge’s Comments: While we love the use of coloured water in FTWAs…a feature which normally attracts extra points…the colours used should be appropriate to the airline starting the service. Ural Airlines’ corporate colours would seem to be dark blue, light blue and red…and we have an orange and white arch? But then again…I’m red/green colour blind…

Jonny: 7.0; Marc: 7.5; Paul: 9.0; Ralph: 6.5.

Qatar Airways Doha to Adelaide 2 May

Qatar Airways Doha to Adelaide 2 May

New aircraft type in Australia leads to FTWA width confusion…

Judge’s Comments: This FTWA was the first performed on an A350-900 in Australia…we know that because Qatar Airways is the only airline using this aircraft type in the country. It is also one of just a handful of FTWAs involving an A350-900 in the world…we know Qatar Airways used the aircraft for its Boston launch on 16 March too…but our judges can’t remember any more…

Jonny: 7.6; Marc: 7.4; Paul: 7.3; Ralph: 5.5.


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