Cuban connections and new airports in this week’s Arch of Triumph

There have been four competition weeks since any winning FTWA has troubled the leader board, so contrary to the premise of what Fire Truck Water Arches are meant to be about, there has been a bit of a dry spell in terms of high scores for the world’s airports of late. Interestingly given its penchant for starting new routes, this is actually Ryanair’s first FTWA win of 2016. Hold on, one of’s data elves is trying to whisper something in my ear…its actually the Irish ULCC’s first-ever Arch of Triumph win – in four years of competition. It has some way to go before it will match the heights of its fellow European ULCC Wizz Air, which has six wins (one in 2013, three last year and two so far in 2016) to its name. This week’s win for the Spanish airport of Castellon also means that Europe further extends its lead at the top of the inter-regional score board – with 19 wins from a possible 33 (58%), with Asia and Australasia trailing miserably in its wake with just four wins each (12%). 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
01-Aug Atlasglobal Istanbul Atatürk to Cluj-Napoca Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) 36.9
03-Aug Emirates Dubai to Hanoi Hanoi (HAN) 36.8
14-Apr bmi regional Munich to Southampton Munich (MUC) 36.8
06-Apr Air India Delhi to Vienna Vienna (VIE) 35.7

Ryanair Sofia to Castellon 9 September

FTWA-Ryanair Sofia to Castellon 9 September

Bon FTWA from Castellon…

Caption: Bon FTWA from Castellon…

Judge’s Comments: Every day is a school day. The Province of Castellon, where unsurprisingly Castellon Airport is situated, is a bilingual territory, with many inhabitants speaking both Spanish and the local, co-official language of Valencian. The latter is also very closely related and mutually understandable to the nearby Catalan language, which is spoken further up the coast in Barcelona of course. This is the airport’s third FTWA…its best so far and indeed worthy of its first weekly win, with its previous scores being 27.3 in September 2015 and 21.2 in June this year…

Jonny: 8.2; Marc: 7.8; Paul: 8.0; Ralph: 7.3.

American Airlines Miami to Holguin 7 September

FTWA - American Airlines Miami to Cienfuegos 7 September

The eagle-eyed amongst you may just spot the 747 Dreamlifter in the background…

Judge’s Comments: Although not the first new route to Cuba (that was last week, and our Route of the Week), Miami will almost certainly be the biggest airport in the US for flights to the Caribbean island following the end of the 55-year hiatus in scheduled non-stop flights between the two countries. So we should expect more Cuban FTWAs from the Floridian airport over the coming months…

Jonny: 3.5; Marc: 4.2; Paul: 7.0; Ralph: 2.2.

United Airlines New York Newark to Chattanooga 7 September

FTwa-United Airlines New York Newark to Chattanooga 7 September

Pardon me chief fire officer, is that the Chattanooga Choo-Choo FTWA…?

Judge’s Comments: “There’s gonna be a certain party at the station…” these are actual lyrics from the Glenn Miller song Chattanooga Choo-Choo which featured in the 1941 film Sun Valley Serenade. Perhaps if the airport’s firefighters had done a slightly better job of this FTWA…there might well have been one heck of a party in the fire station this week…ah well, maybe next time…

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

Royal Air Maroc Casablanca to Washington Dulles 8 September

ftwa-Royal Air Maroc Casablanca to Washington Dulles 8 September

‘Water arch me again Uncle Sam’…the greatest misquote in FTWA/movie history??

Judge’s Comments: In the 1942 classic movie Casablanca we all know that Ingrid Bergman never said: “Play it again Sam”. She actually says: “Play it once, Sam, for old time’s sake”. But will that stop us naming this FTWA ‘Play it again Uncle Sam’ – hell no. Just like it hasn’t stopped millions of people misquoting this line from one of the world’s best-known movies. However, given the quality of this FTWA, with a cavernous gap in the middle, there is certainly a need for this water arch to be done again…

Jonny: 4.5; Marc: 3.3; Paul: 2.0; Ralph: 3.3.

Borajet Airlines Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen to Trieste 10 September

Cuban connections and new airports in this week’s Arch of Triumph

Even the grainy image can’t cover up the standard of this FTWA…

Judge’s Comments: A classic ‘Big Boy, Little Boy’ from our friends in Italy. The correct trajectory for both water jets should really be something in between what we have on display here. Not even the substandard image – it’s taken from a video rather than a picture – can cover up the basic lack of understanding when it comes to the fundamentals of FTWA geometry…

Jonny: 2.5; Marc: 4.4; Paul: 6.5; Ralph: 4.1.

Belavia Minsk to Moscow Zhukovsky 12 September

ftwa - Belavia Minsk to Moscow Zhukovsky 12 September

ZIA remember that airport code…more FTWAs to come from here…

Judge’s Comments: With three commercial airports already serving Moscow – Sheremetyevo, Domodedovo and Vnukovo – the Russian capital’s latest strip at Zhukovsky is located 40 kilometres south-east of downtown Moscow. While this route from Minsk is the airport’s first scheduled service, the judges think that this will not be the last FTWA we get from the fledgling facility…

Jonny: 5.7; Marc: 6.5; Paul: 6.9; Ralph: 6.8.


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