Keflavik Arch of Triumph kings revel in crowning glory

Holding possible the biggest Arch of Triumph certificate ever seen in the five years of this competition are the firefighters from Reykjavik/Keflavik. All they have to do now is figure out how to get it on the wall of the fire station for everybody to see!

With FTWAs from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America this week, it was nice to see some real geographic diversity across the nine competing airports from around the world. As we close in on almost 300 water salutes so far in 2017, and while Europe still leads the way in terms of number of FTWAs provided (65%), it was good to witness other regions strengthen their respective shares. Firmly in second spot is North America (15%), registering more than twice as many water arches than Asia and South America (both 7%). Africa’s airports are then in the fourth tier of regions, joining the Middle East and Australasia with around 2% of the global FTWAs supplied this year. With total entries now at 289 by mid-September, this year’s supply of water salutes is about four weeks ahead of the 2016 competition, as it did not reach this figure until mid-October last year. 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
25-Jun Wizz Air Košice to Cologne Bonn Košice (KSC) 37.2
28-Apr Monarch Airlines Birmingham to Porto Porto (OPO) 36.8
15-Sep Hainan Airlines Beijing to Belgrade Belgrade (BEG) 36.7
07-May Germania Fuerteventura to Toulouse Fuerteventrua (FUE) 36.7
06-Sep Icelandair Reykjavik/Keflavik to Tampa Reykjavik/Keflavik (KEF) 36.6
15-Jun Ellinair Thessaloniki to Cluj-Napoca Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) 36.4
07-Jun Air China Beijing to Zurich Zurich (ZRH) 36.3

Hainan Airlines Beijing to Belgrade 15 September

A first Arch of Triumph outing for the Serbian capital city this year…and not a bad one!!

Judges’ Comments: It was July 2014 when we last received an FTWA from Belgrade. That time it finished second with a score of 34.3 in a highly-competitive week which saw 21 entries. In January of the same year it won the first weekly title of 2014 with a creditable result of 30.5. The Serbian airport is back again this week…scoring another weekly victory. Two firsts and a second in its only three attempts…these guys know how to produce a winning FTWA…

Jonny: 9.2; Kerry: 9.3; Marc: 9.0; Paul: 9.2.

AirAsia Kuala Lumpur to Nha Trang 14 September

AirAsia Nha Trang

Is that a FTWA or a smoke screen…

Judges’ Comments: The special effects department seems to have bust the budget here in Nha Trang. Rather than using plain old water for the FTWA…a smoke bomb appears to have gone off behind the AisAsia A320 arriving on stand. Maybe there was a grotty old bit of the airport that they wanted to cover up…

Jonny: 3.4; Kerry: 2.8; Marc: 2.8; Paul: 3.0.

JetSMART Santiago to Puerto Montt 14 September 

JetSmart Puerto Montt

We love a four water jet FTWA…but is it that (Jet)SMART?

Judges’ Comments: The pinnacle of world-class FTWAs are perhaps those that involve four water jets and/or when the water jets are dyed to represent the colours of the airline that is receiving the Arch of Triumph. While these elements are easy to appreciate and will derive great excitement from the untrained eye, the judges (and their highly-skilled perceptions) are not easily bamboozled by such fripperies…arch structure is king…the rest are just princely attributes… 

Jonny: 6.1; Kerry: 5.8; Marc: 6.9; Paul: 6.3.

Saudi Arabian Airlines Jeddah to Mauritius 14 September 

Saudi Arabian Airlines Mauritius

Is this an FTWA… an aircraft wash…or a co-pilot ear wash?

Judges’ Comments: Did nobody tell the fire crew in Mauritius that it was a 787-9 doing the inaugural Saudi Arabian Airlines flight from Jeddah…perhaps they were expecting one of the airline’s A320s instead? At 17m (or 56ft for our US readers) there was no way this particular FTWA was going to get this aircraft through without giving the co-pilot an ear wash…

Jonny: 6.8; Kerry: 6.2; Marc: 6.4; Paul: 6.5

Japan Airlines Tokyo Narita to Kona 15 September 

Japan Airlines Kona

I’ve never seen a high loader like that before…

Judges’ Comments: We have had many different apron vehicles in the past with what seems to be a water cannon attached…of course not in reality…but as a result of the angle of the picture and/or the apron clutter in the foreground. That said I don’t think we’ve ever had an image where it looks like a high loader is taking the left-hand side of a FTWA…like this one in Hawaii…nice bit of kit!

Jonny: 5.4; Kerry: 6.0; Marc: 6.3; Paul: 5.9.

Aerolineas Argentinas Cordoba to Trelew 16 September 

Aerolineas Argentinas Trelew

We love receiving FTWAs from first timers…like this Welsh town in Argentina…

Judges’ Comments: If it wasn’t for the fact that its Aerolineas Argentinas flying to Trelew, I would not have had clue where it was in the world. However, given its history of settling Welsh immigrants (who arrived there around 140 years ago) its name now makes more sense. Apparently the nearby town of Gaiman still has Welsh tea houses. Nice to know if you are ever down there and need a piece of bara brith and a brew…

Jonny: 5.9; Kerry: 5.8; Marc: 5.5; Paul: .

Air India Delhi to Copenhagen 16 September 

Air India Copenhagen

It looks like just one tender is doing both halves of this FTWA…

Judges’ Comments: With the sun clearly setting in Copenhagen…the Air India flight is scheduled to arrive in the Danish capital at 18:45…this FTWA image appears to only have one tender. The structure is sound but there are at least two better-built arches in this week’s entries….thank goodness the 8km-long Øresund road and railway bridge to Sweden is of more sound construction…

Jonny: 8.1; Kerry: 7.8; Marc: 8.0; Paul: .

Norwegian London Gatwick to Denver 16 September

Norwegian Denver

A far from ‘Rocky’ FTWA in Denver

Judges’ Comments: Although Denver is known as the gateway to the nearby Rocky Mountains…there is nothing rocky about this FTWA…if anything, its a smooth finish all the way for the capital of Colorado. Although the image is a little grainy…and there is a half-hearted attempt at a double-water jet from the left-hand tender…the scores for this arch might get even higher than the nearby 4,400 metre (14,400 feet) Mount Elbert…the Rockies highest peak…

Jonny: 8.6; Kerry: 8.7; Marc: 9.2; Paul: 8.8.

Norwegian London Gatwick to Seattle-Tacoma 17 October

Norwegian Seattle

Is this FTWA for the Norwegian 787-9 or for the Delta A330??

Judges’ Comments: Frankly this FTWA looks like a bit of an after thought. Unless of course it was actually for the passing Delta Air Lines A330 (just in front of the Norwegian 787-9’s nose) which was scuttling down the taxiway? Errrrrrrrrr…nope we’ve just checked our records and there were no new long-haul routes being launched by Delta from Sea-Tac that day. So it really is just a bad FTWA and the lowest scorer this week…

Jonny: 2.8; Kerry: 3.0; Marc: 2.9; Paul: 2.9.


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