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!!
|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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.