Tampa-tastic truimph celebrated in style

Tampa-tastic!! Celebrating the Floridian airport’s third ever success in the Arch of Triumph competition (the first two were over three years ago) are the winning fire crew of: Driver Engineer Kerwin Stokes; Firefighter Dale Kelley; Firefighter Orlando Nieves; and Captain George Carter.

This week is quite unique in terms of the FTWAs that we have received, as we have had just four entries, with all four airports being from both ends of just two new routes. A double, double-header. The four arches see the UK vs. Austria and Colombia vs. Panama. While it was an easy win for the UK over Austria in Europe, with the former outscoring the latter by more than 10 points, it was far closer in Latin America, with the Colombian airport narrowly edging out the Panamanian one by less than one point. Birmingham’s win (it was the 2015 champion and 2016 runner-up) also marks the first victory of 2017 for Europe, meaning that six different regions have won a weekly title in the seven weeks of competition so far this year. Keep Monitoring!!

Date Route FTWA Airport Score
16-Feb United Airlines San Francisco to Tampa Tampa (TPA) 37.4
05-Feb Qatar Airways Doha to Auckland Auckland (AKL) 35.6
10-Feb Himalaya Airlines Kathmandu to Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur (KUL) 35.4
27-Feb bmi regional Birmingham to Graz Birmingham (BHX) 32.6
30-Jan Philippine Airlines Clark to Cebu Cebu (CEB) 30.1
12-Jan Blue Air Bucharest to Tel Aviv Tel Aviv (TLV) 25.6
05-Jan Alaska Airlines Los Angeles to Havana Havana (HAV) 16.0

bmi regional Birmingham to Graz 27 February

The 2015 champions throw down an early marker in the 2017 competition…

Judges’ comments: Having won the title in 2015 and finishing second in 2016, the firefighters at Birmingham Airport know their onions when it comes to producing good FTWAs. While this effort is good enough to seal the weekly title and also claim Europe’s first win of 2017, it was not quite up to the UK airport’s previous best with a score of 32.6. That said, the team at Birmingham did warm-up in 2015 with a weekly win in May of that year, before securing the title in October, so this could be an early marker…so be afraid…be very afraid…

Jonny: 8.9; Marc: 8.6; Paul: 7.8; Ralph: 7.3.

Wingo Cartagena to Panama City/Balboa 23 February

A double header FTWA…and nothing to do with football…see the one from the other end of the new route below…

Judges’ comments: Founded in the 16th century, Cartagena, a port city located on the northern coast of Colombia in the Caribbean coast region was named after Cartagena, Spain, which in turn was named after Carthage in Tunisia – formerly an important Roman outpost in Africa. That history is clearly evident here, as the Colombian firefighters bravely attempt to emulate some of the classical Roman architecture in the form of a water arch…

Jonny: 6.5; Marc: 5.3; Paul: 4.9; Ralph: 6.1.

Wingo Cartagena to Panama City/Balboa 23 February

In Panama they don’t shout ‘Bingo’…they shout ‘Wingo’ for a good FTWA…

Judges’ comments: A brief bit of research into this new Colombian LCC reveals that the airline is “a mix of good performance, coolness and friendliness” and that it wants passengers “to unleash their travel spirit.” This FTWA is a mix of good forest backdrop, cool fire tenders and over-friendly (photo-bombing) apron staff…which has unleashed a distinctly average arch… 

Jonny: 5.5; Marc: 5.1; Paul: 5.5; Ralph: 5.8.

bmi regional Birmingham to Graz 27 February

Missing: two fire tenders belonging to Graz Airport…answering to the names Tender 1 and Tender 2…

Judges’ comments: So often we receive images from airports where the fire tenders have been cut out of the picture. Why? They are just as much of a part of the celebration as the aircraft. They also give us a sense of place…as most backdrops to these images…unless you have an iconic skyline…are pretty generic…so having a couple of airport-branded fire trucks in the foreground allows us to determine where we are in the world. Take note airport marketing departments…

Jonny: 4.5; Marc: 5.4; Paul: 7.1; Ralph: 5.2.


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