Milan Bergamo firefighters show-off giant Arch of Triumph certificate

In the hi-viz jacket along with Milan Bergamo’s firefighters is Giacomo Cattaneo, the airport’s Commercial Aviation Director, and the man that convinced Ukraine International Airlines to start its route from Kiev, which allowed the airport to win its third Arch of Triumph title last week. The Italian airport has another chance to win Arch of Triumph title this week too.

Lisbon’s win this week, and its immediate leap into into second place in the 2017 Arch of Triumph, is resonating through the FTWA world today. Not only is it a signal of intent to the world’s airports that it is not going to hand over its 2016 title (also for a US route launch last year) easily, but that as Portugal’s biggest airport, it is the ANA (Portugal’s airport operator) king when it comes to coloured FTWAs. This is being felt most-sharply in fellow ANA airport Porto, 275 kilometres north of the capital city, where not only has its coloured dye FTWA for its Monarch Airlines launch in April been pushed down the leader board into fourth spot, its win from two weeks ago (for the launch of KLM services) has been ousted from the top 10 altogether! Talk about no love lost in the ANA team. Keep Monitoring!!

Date Route FTWA Airport Score
13-Apr Ural Airlines Sochi/Adler to Tel Aviv Sochi/Adler (AER) 37.6
25-May Delta Air Lines New York JFK to Lisbon Lisbon (LIS) 37.5
16-Feb United Airlines San Francisco to Tampa Tampa (TPA) 37.4
28-Apr Monarch Airlines Birmingham to Porto Porto (OPO) 36.8
07-May Germania Fuerteventura to Toulouse Fuerteventrua (FUE) 36.7
08-Apr Luxair Luxembourg to Alicante Alicante (ALC) 36.2
16-May Ukraine International Airlines Kiev Boryspil to Milan Bergamo Milan Bergamo (BGY) 35.9
05-Feb Qatar Airways Doha to Auckland Auckland (AKL) 35.6
10-Feb Himalaya Airlines Kathmandu to Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur (KUL) 35.4
06-Mar Azul Airlines Belo Horizonte to Buenos Aires Ezeiza Belo Horizonte (CNF) 35.4

Delta Air Lines New York JFK to Lisbon 25 May

Intra-ANA FTWA competition is hotting up in Portugal…

Judges’ comments: Not to be outdone by its smaller sister airport further up the Portuguese coast – Porto, which won Week 18 of this competition for its FTWA for the start of KLM services on 15 May – the capital city airport of Lisbon has also been getting the coloured dye out to welcome launch services again. Let’s not forget that Portugal’s biggest airport was last year’s winner of this annual battle for FTWA supremacy, with a monster score of 39.0…this time it’s still a weekly winner, but not a world champion…

Jonny: 9.6; Marc: 9.7; Paul: 8.8; Ralph: 9.5.

Germania Palma de Mallorca to Montpellier 23 May

“O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road”…two water jets at very different levels…

Judges’ comments: The Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond” is a well-known Scottish song first published in 1841. There are many theories about the lyrics’ meaning (see caption), one being that the song is sung by the lover of a captured Jacobite rebel set to be executed in London. The heads of the executed rebels were then set upon pikes and exhibited in all of the towns between London and Edinburgh in a procession along the “high road” (the most important road), while the relatives of the rebels walked back along the “low road” (the ordinary road travelled by peasants and commoners)…so now you know…

Jonny: 5.1; Marc: 5.7; Paul: 6.2; Ralph: 5.6.

AirAsia X Indonesia Denpasar to Tokyo Narita 24 May

A very well-sculpted FTWA in Bali…almost ethereal…

Judges’ comments: The Balinese worship Dewi (‘goddess’) Sri as the goddess of rice and prosperity….or the Balinese Goddess of Plenty. I thought the latter was something dreamt up by the writers of Blackadder (Richard Curtis and Ben Elton) in Series Four of the 1980s UK comedy…but it’s actually a real thing…well according to Wikipedia anyway…

Jonny: 7.8; Marc: 8.0; Paul: 8.0; Ralph: 8.5.

Delta Air Lines New York JFK to Berlin Tegel 25 May

A booty call FTWA in Berlin…

Judges’ comments: A real opinion-divider within the judges – no not who is going to win Britain’s Got Talent – but on this ‘Kardashian’ style, rear-facing FTWA, given the range of scores delivered. Some of the judges love this booty call from the Delta Air Lines aircraft…others prefer to look at the face of the FTWA instead…

Jonny: 8.0; Marc: 7.7; Paul: 4.9; Ralph: 7.3.

Spirit Airlines Pittsburgh to Dallas/Fort Worth and Myrtle Beach 25 May

The heaven’s really did open on this Spirit aircraft…

Judges’ comments: Possibly the cleanest aircraft in the US at the time of this photo…this Spirit Airlines A319 had just landed in something akin to a tropical downpour – not typically seen in the state of Pennsylvania – only to be hit by another deluge from Pittsburgh’s finest and bravest upon arrival at the gate…

Jonny: 7.8; Marc: 6.5; Paul: 7.5; Ralph: 6.2.

airBaltic Riga to Madrid 26 May

One of the busiest airlines when it comes to receiving FTWAs…

Judges’ comments: The Latvian airline airBaltic is one of the most prolific recipients of FTWAs in the business. This is the airline’s sixth so far this year…all in different countries…having received baptisms in Tampere (Finland), Munich (Germany), Kazan (Russia), Geneva (Switzerland) and Stavanger (Norway).

Jonny: 8.8; Marc: 8.2; Paul: 7.9; Ralph: 8.6.

RwandAir Kigali to London Gatwick 26 May

Gatwick’s iconic taxiway bridge catches the eye…not the FTWA…

Judges’ comments: When you get a less than average FTWA, the eye starts to wander around the rest of the image instead…and you start pontificating on facts like just how high is that bridge at Gatwick if it can easily allow an A330 underneath it…well the bridge sits 34 metres above apron level…A330 tail height is 17.4 metres …

Jonny: 3.7; Marc: 4.4; Paul: 5.2; Ralph: 4.1.

Arkia Israeli Airlines Tel Aviv to Milan Bergamo 28 May

Route launch photo-bombed by your biggest customer…

Judges’ comments: Never the shiest carrier when it comes to publicity, Ryanair has now even resorted to stealing the glory of other airlines that are launching their own services. The Irish ULCC is by far and away top-dog at the Italian airport, with the most weekly capacity of the dozen or so other serving airlines at Bergamo, yet it just can’t resist getting a little more new route limelight…even when it is not for them!!

Jonny: 7.9; Marc: 8.1; Paul: 8.0; Ralph: 7.1.

Sun D’Or International Airlines Tel Aviv to Malaga 28 May

This is a definite Arch of Triumph first in Malaga…

Judges’ comments: This is an FTWA first. Sun D’Or International Airlines, which began the new route from Tel Aviv to Malaga brought water from the River Jordan for the water cannon salute, and that was mixed with water from the local River Guadalhorce. In any other week, this very special Arch of Triumph would have won hands down…but then ultimately lost to some Portuguese coloured water!!

Jonny: 9.0; Marc: 8.9; Paul: 9.0; Ralph: 8.8.


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