A new leader in the 2016 Arch of Triumph competition

Well it has taken 15 weeks, but finally the 2016 Arch of Triumph battle for top spot has sparked back into life, as New Zealand’s Wellington Airport has had its crown stolen by some plucky and creative Portuguese firefighters in Lisbon. In residency in the #1 position since early February, the Kiwi capital had done an excellent job in fending off its weekly assailants. But every reign must come to an end, and to be fair, they have gone down to an absoluter belter! Interestingly, the FTWA was crafted for United Airlines, the carrier which received the winning arch in the 2014 competition at Munich Airport. Standards were definitely high this week, with the second place arch at Amsterdam scoring highly too (36.9), a result which ordinarily would have seen it secure a weekly victory and indeed joint fourth position on the overall leader board. But instead, the Portuguese sailed in with a formidable FTWA that might just see-off any other this year. Keep Monitoring!!

Date Route FTWA Airport Score
25-May United Airlines Washington Dulles to Lisbon Lisbon (LIS) 39.0
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
11-May Lufthansa Munich to Denver Denver (DEN) 35.2
01-Mar LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw Chopin to Luxembourg Luxembourg (LUX) 32.7

United Airlines Washington Dulles to Lisbon 25 May

United Airlines Washington Dulles to Lisbon 25 May

Every other entry this week (and maybe this year) may as well pack up and go home now…

Judge’s Comments:  WOW! WOW! WOW! This FTWA is a thing of beauty and a deserved winner this week and well worthy of taking the top spot from Wellington. But where does its score of 39.0 sit in the pantheon of the previous annual winners…last year’s victor Birmingham topped the table with a score of 37.9; in 2014 Munich stormed to a win with 38.9; and in 2013 the first ever Arch of Triumph title was secured with a score of just 36.2…so at the moment this is the best of the best!!

Jonny: 9.8; Marc: 9.7; Paul: 9.9; Ralph: 9.6.

Allegiant Air Orlando Sanford to Wichita 25 May

Allegiant Air Orlando Sanford to Wichita 25 May

Signs of a practice FTWA on the apron foreground? Maybe more than one practice next time…

Judge’s Comments: My boss wanted me to mention the 1968 hit by Glen Campbell Wichita Lineman in reference to this FTWA. I am sure that lots of people in Wichita are familiar with this song, given it has their town’s name in the title. However, anyone under 50 who doesn’t live in Wichita probably has never heard of the song which has been covered by the likes of REM (1996) and James Taylor (2008), so I’m not going to mention it…

Jonny: 4.3; Marc: 3.4; Paul: 5.9; Ralph: 3.5.

Bangkok Airways Bangkok to Da Nang 25 May

Bangkok Airways Bangkok to Da Nang 25 May

More a curtain than an arch…and where are the trucks…?

Judge’s Comments: This is our first ever FTWA from Da Nang in Vietnam, so we will go easy on them….and just provide a few pointers for future reference. Two visible tenders = good. Aircraft under arch (not miles in front) = good. Water arch and not a water curtain = good. Do that next time and you’ll be fine…

Jonny: 5.4; Marc: 4.8; Paul: 5.9; Ralph: 2.6.

Silver Airways Southwest Florida to Nassau 26 May

Silver Airways Southwest Florida to Nassau 26 May

Shame we can’t see the second truck…

Judge’s Comments:  Personally I think FTWAs for turboprops, like this one for a Silver Airways Saab 340, seem to challenge the world’s firefighters. Invariably the arches seem to be too high for the size of the aircraft. That said the first ever winner of the Arch of Triumph competition in 2013 was for a Royal Air Maroc ATR 72 in Tenerife North…so what do I know…

Jonny: 6.6; Marc: 7.8; Paul: 6.5; Ralph: 7.3.

Air Canada Toronto Pearson to Salt Lake City 27 May

Air Canada Toronto Pearson to Salt Lake City 27 May

Lovely rainbow arch…but not much of a water arch…

Judge’s Comments: Nature’s wonders are undoubtedly beautiful. A murmuration of starlings (Google it) is beguiling…the Northern Lights are spectacular…and a rainbow also never fails to inspire awe and wonder. While they have their place in an FTWA ‒ indeed anna.aero’s judges often view them favourably when it comes to scoring ‒ they should not command the photo like the one above…

Jonny: 6.5; Marc: 6.7; Paul: 6.6; Ralph: 8.2.

Aeromexico Mexico City to Amsterdam 29 May

Aeromexico Mexico City to Amsterdam 29 May

In any other week this would have been a winner…

Judge’s Comments: The firefighters in Amsterdam will have looked at this FTWA and thought we have got our hands on our first win of 2016 here (and its second since winning the S15 public vote). Little did they know, 1,847 kilometres to the south-west, four days earlier, Lisbon’s firefighters had created not only the best FTWA of this year, but the best in the four years of Arch of Triumph competition. Cue heavy sighs all round in the Netherlands…

Jonny: 9.4; Marc: 9.4; Paul: 9.0; Ralph: 9.1.

Air Canada rouge Toronto Pearson to Prague 29 May

Air Canada rouge Toronto Pearson to Prague 29 May

Again, like the guys in Amsterdam…another potential winner in most ordinary weeks…

Judge’s Comments: Boy, do they like red and white in Prague. Red and white plane…red and white fire trucks…red and white markings on lamp post…even red and white Czech Airlines plane in background! Nice colour co-ordination. With a red and white water arch this would have been right up there…

Jonny: 7.9; Marc: 8.2; Paul: 7.8; Ralph: 8.9.

Air Transat Montreal to Glasgow 29 May

Air Transat Montreal to Glasgow 29 May

Wide arch for Air Transat wide-body…but anna.aero judges give it a wide berth…

Judge’s Comments:  There is a definite need to get the trucks closer together here in Glasgow….not so close that a Glasgow Kiss (Google it) can be delivered…but that’s a massive gap between the end of the arch segments. Also if the photo was taken maybe two seconds later then the placement of the Air Transat A310 from Montreal would have been perfect…

Jonny: 5.4; Marc: 6.8; Paul: 6.9; Ralph: 1.9.


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