Auckland Airport struts its stuff with Arch of Triumph win

Auckland Airport struts it stuff with Arch of Triumph win-1

Bravo for Brown Watch! On 23 June Auckland Airport’s Brown Watch delivered a fine FTWA for the arrival of American Airlines’ service from Los Angeles. All of those in the picture are Airport Emergency Officers, unless stated otherwise: Evander Agnew; Fred Mcfall; Matthew Lind; Vaughn Chiplin; Chris Stanley; John Smith; Richard Gowdy; Jonathan Buchan; Cedric Miers, Crew Chief; Laura Andrews; Richard Howlett (kneeling left); and Owen O’Brien (kneeling, holding certificate).

Africa has finally made its mark on the 2016 Arch of Triumph competition, with its first win this year courtesy of the fire fighters at Marrakech Airport. The region is less than prolific when it comes to providing FTWAs for’s judges to scrutinise, having sent a miserly five (just 2%) out of the 216 which have been provided so far this year. Only the Caribbean has sent in less than Africa (three; 1%), and as a result it is perhaps not surprising that this tropical playground region is yet to score a weekly win. There are now three parts of the world which have registered a single win, with Africa joining North America and South America on that score. The former however, is the second most active provider of FTWAs, having sent in 43 so far, or 20% of the total, behind only Europe (114; 53%). This means that Africa has a far better win/entry ratio of 0.2, nearly 10 times better than North America’s, which is 0.023. 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
23-Jun American Airlines Los Angeles to Auckland Auckland (AKL) 37.1
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
20-Jun Bulgaria Air Sofia to Budapest Budapest (BUD) 35.2

Qatar Airways Doha to Marrakech 1 July

Arch of Triumph win: Qatar Airways Doha to Marrakech 1 July

Marvellous FTWA in Marrakech…

Judge’s Comments: Not since December 2014 has an African airport won a weekly FTWA competition. Back then it was Dar es Salaam which managed a score of 35.3, meaning that it also claimed 10th spot overall in the annual competition. While this FTWA is not to that standard, it was still good enough to enough to see off the other 16 competing airports this week…

Jonny: 7.7; Marc: 8.2; Paul: 7.8; Ralph: 9.1.

Air Europa Madrid to Bogota 28 June

Arch of Triumph win:Air Europa Madrid to Bogota 28 June

Social media in Colombia about this FTWA will have been buzzing with all those people taking pictures…

Judge’s Comments: Count them up…at least eight people taking pictures (or filming) of the Air Europa aircraft arriving in Bogota on 28 June. No doubt the Facebook and Twitter accounts of airport ground staff were invaluably added to with such prime content…much better than the usual stuff put on there…pictures of their children doing funny stuff or posing with their latest gymnastics certificate, clothes bought for the next staff party, a hilarious sausage that looks like a dog…I could continue…

Jonny: 7.8; Marc: 7.3; Paul: 6.5; Ralph: 7.5.

China Eastern Airlines Shanghai Pudong to Madrid 28 June

Arch of Triumph win:China Eastern Airlines Shanghai Pudong to Madrid 28 June

The Iberia aircraft had a special livery on it…but this China Eastern one didn’t…even if you could see it…

Judge’s Comments: On 28 June, Iberia and China Eastern Airlines both started flights between Madrid and Shanghai, but in opposite directions of courseFor those of you that enjoy special liveries on aircraft…you should check out the Iberia route launch story. The Iberia aircraft – A330-200 EC-MJA – is promoting the shopping opportunities at El Corte Inglés – the biggest department store group in Europe and Spain’s only remaining department store chain ‒ for potential Chinese visitors to Madrid. By comparison, the China Eastern aircraft above was bland and white…and featured no shops…

Jonny: 4.8; Marc: 5.7; Paul: 6.0; Ralph: 6.4.

Copa Airlines Panama City to Chiclayo 28 June

Arch of Triumph win:Copa Airlines Panama City to Chiclayo 28 June

Chic-where? It’s in Peru apparently…

Judge’s Comments: For anyone that has never heard of the city in northern Peru (like all of’s judges)…Chiclayo is 13 kilometres inland from the Pacific coast and is nearly 800 kilometres away from the capital city Lima. It is also the fourth most populous city in the country…every day is a school day eh??

Jonny: 3.5; Marc: 2.2; Paul: 0.2; Ralph: 2.8.

Thai AirAsia X Bangkok Don Mueang to Muscat 28 June

Arch of Triumph: Thai AirAsia X Bangkok Don Mueang to Muscat 28 June

Oh my in Oman…

Judge’s Comments: The water jet emanating from the right-hand tender of this FTWA is practically over the middle of the wing on the opposite side of the Thai AirAsia X aircraft. To be fair, the left-hand tender is doing its best…and trying to reduce its water jet to compensate…but the result is messy…

Jonny: 5.1; Marc: 4.7; Paul: 2.0; Ralph: 6.9.

Nile Air Cairo to Al Ain 29 June

Arch of Triumph: Nile Air Cairo to Al Ain 29 June

Is that a Gulf Air aircraft…oops no its Egypt’s Nile Air…is it special livery week??

Judge’s Comments: Friend of Ahmed Aly, and CEO of Nile Air, personally sent through this FTWA. When quizzed about the aircraft’s special livery being similar to Bahrain’s Gulf Air he said: “OK the gold may VAGUELY resemble that of GF – but this is a unique and one-of-a-kind scheme.” Perhaps Nile Air and Gulf Air use the same aircraft painter and they had some gold paint left?

Jonny: 6.7; Marc: 6.5; Paul: 5.0; Ralph: 7.8.

Air Astana Almaty to Tehran Imam Khomeini 30 June

Arch of Triumph win:Air Astana Almaty to Tehran Imam Khomeini 30 June

Relations, including airport marketing, have definitely been thawing out in Iran…

Judge’s Comments: If you were to ask’s judges whether we would get an FTWA from Iran 12 months ago…we would have fallen off our four respective chairs with laughter…yet here is one…our first ever FTWA from Tehran!! On that basis, maybe this FTWA should have won this week…but we are harsh unforgiving judges…

Jonny: 3.3; Marc: 4.4; Paul: 5.1; Ralph: 4.8.

Copa Airlines Panama City to Rosario 1 July

Arch of Triumph win:Copa Airlines Panama City to Rosario 1 July

Hang on…this is the third South American FTWA this week…

Judge’s Comments: We’ve not had any entries from South America for eight weeks (back in May during Week 16 of the competition – we’re now in Week 24), when we had five sent to us. This week we’ve had a batch of three sent through, including this night time shot from Rosario in Argentina. South American FTWAs…just like buses then…

Jonny: 2.6; Marc: 3.1; Paul: 3.1; Ralph: 3.5.

Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong to Tokyo Narita 1 July

Arch of Triumph win:Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong to Tokyo Narita 1 July

Not often you see a grounded rainbow…

Judge’s Comments: That has to be some sort of phenomenon…a rainbow on the ground?? Is that even possible?? The dictionary definition of a rainbow is as follows: a bow-shaped display in the sky…well clearly Oxford English needs to update its definition to: a bow-shaped display in the sky or on an apron when there is an FTWA taking place…

Jonny: 4.5; Marc: 6.4; Paul: 6.1; Ralph: 8.5.

Lufthansa Frankfurt to San Jose 1 July

Arch of Triumph win:Lufthansa Frankfurt to San Jose 1 July

Special practice for a special FTWA…

Judge’s Comments: Water is a precious resource, even in the First World, and California is one such place. So conducting something as frivolous as an FTWA would be deemed as environmentally unthinkable. So San Jose Airport wanted me to pass on the fact that its firefighters rescheduled the weekly water discharge test to Lufthansa’s launch day so the water could serve a dual purpose. Marketing and environmental sensitivity combined…

Jonny: 4.2; Marc: 3.7; Paul: 5.5; Ralph: 3.0.

TAP Portugal Lisbon to New York JFK 1 July

Arch of Triumph win:TAP Portugal Lisbon to New York JFK 1 July

Lots of practising at JFK…or a passing shower?? Definitely the latter…

Judge’s Comments: It’s not often we get a score below 10 in this competition. While Chiclayo in Peru can be forgiven (see above), as they probably don’t get too many route launches, New York JFK is one of the world’s busiest airports and must therefore get plenty of practice…and yet it amassed a score of just 8.8…only 0.1 ahead of the tiny northern Peru airport. The Big Apple airport becomes one of just five this year to have had a result below 10…

Jonny: 2.2; Marc: 2.2; Paul: 2.9; Ralph: 1.5.

United Airlines New York Newark to Flint 1 July

 Arch of Triumph win:United Airlines New York Newark to Flint 1 July

Interesting rear angle from Flint…

Judge’s Comments: We’re not sure whether Kim Kardashian has ever been to Flint in Michigan (we guess probably not)…but the reality TV personality, actress (ha!), socialite (over-qualified), businesswoman (Air Kardashian CEO??) and model (not the data elves’ type)…has clearly influenced this rear-facing FTWA…showing off the United Airlines E145’s booty to full effect…

Jonny: 7.7; Marc: 7.7; Paul: 7.0; Ralph: 8.3.

Xiamen Airlines Xiamen to Melbourne 1 July

Arch of Triumph win:Xiamen Airlines Xiamen to Melbourne 1 July

Where are the tenders…somewhere on Taxiway Uniform…

Judge’s Comments: The tenders delivering the FTWA are just as important a part of the picture as the water jets and the aircraft…and when they are not there…a vital component is missing. They also offer the airport an opportunity to get a bit of brand placement…but sadly we’ll never know which capital city of Victoria State in Australia airport this is…

Jonny: 4.2; Marc: 4.8; Paul: 3.0; Ralph: 7.3.

KLM Amsterdam to Alicante 2 July

Arch of Triumph win:KLM Amsterdam to Alicante 2 July

Is that apron marking really big…or really close??

Judge’s Comments: Alicante Airport is already a winner this week. It was one of the victorious airports in this year’s Euro ANNIES, scooping the ‘Airport with the Most New Carriers’ prize. So as a result they didn’t really put too much effort into this FTWA, as they wanted to make sure some other airports won some awards this week…very noble of them…

Jonny: 7.8; Marc: 7.2; Paul: 5.5; Ralph: 8.3.

Chalair Perpignan to Geneva 3 July

Arch of Triumph win:Chalair Perpignan to Geneva 3 July

Phew I’m getting tired now…FTWA #15 and still there’s more…

Judge’s Comments: Is anybody still reading this far down? Do you know how challenging it is to come up with something vaguely witty and different for each FTWA…blummin’ hard I can tell you!! So if you don’t mind I’ll have a break on this one…and then get back to it on the last two…

Jonny: 7.7; Marc: 7.6; Paul: 7.0; Ralph: 8.0.

easyJet Manchester to Gibraltar 3 July

Arch of Triumph win:easyJet Manchester to Gibraltar 3 July

We love FTWAs from Gibraltar…just because of the Rock!!

Judge’s Comments: Last time we had an FTWA from Gibraltar, it was the first ever commercial water salute since 1944 when the airfield opened. That one had some dramatic cloud on the Rock…this one is less dramatic…but that background is still hard to beat…

Jonny: 7.5; Marc: 7.2; Paul: 7.6; Ralph: 6.6.

Air France Paris CDG to Krakow 4 July

Arch of Triumph win:Air France Paris CDG to Krakow 4 July

A cracking improvement on last week’s effort from Krakow…

Judge’s Comments: Last week Krakow Airport was 11th out of 13 airports providing an FTWA, with a score of just 18.5. This week it was joint second with Flint Airport in Michigan with a score of 30.7. So a vast improvement indeed. Maybe next time the airport enters the Arch of Triumph competition it will go one step further and win the weekly title…which it has never done before…

Jonny: 7.7; Marc: 7.7; Paul: 6.9; Ralph: 8.4.


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