Ukraine breaks into the top 10 during Week 40 of the Arch of Triumph competition as airports prepare for a wealth of winter launches

With the winter season fast approaching (is it still too soon to talk about Christmas?), this was the last week in which the world’s airports could send in FTWAs to toast the final route launches of S17. It was also the last week that’s four esteemed judges could mark these entries out of 10 before the start of public voting for the opening of the winter season. So for those airports that will be sending in their water arch entries for the first batch of winter launches, make sure to get those social media campaigns going as the entrusted job of judging is put into the hands of the public. Back to this week, six airports from three regions (two each from Europe, North America and Asia) have sent in FTWAs, with another European airport clinching Arch of Triumph victory and gaining joint-tenth on the leader board, joining another European airport. But can anyone knock Sochi/Adler from the top spot before the end of the 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
27-Sep China Southern Airlines Guangzhou to Vientiane Vientiane (VTE) 37.3
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
20-Oct Ernest Milan Bergamo to Lviv Lviv (LWO) 36.4

Ernest Milan Bergamo to Lviv 20 October 

Ernest Lviv

Perfect symmetry in Lviv…just a shame about the angle of the photo…

Judges’ comments: The number one thing that’s judges look for in a water arch is the perfect symmetry of the water jets as they burst with power from the tenders, eagerly looking for the perfect balance of trajectory, angle, power and curtain. This attempt from Lviv has pretty much cracked the perfect technique for welcoming its newest airline Ernest…it’s just a shame the photographer took the picture from a slightly different angle from head-on…otherwise we’re sure it would have been 10s across the board… 

Jonny: 9.2; Kerry: 9.1; Marc: 9.1; Nick: 9.0 = 36.4 

China Eastern Airlines Shanghai Pudong to Cebu 18 October

China Eastern Airlines Cebu

Unlucky for some…its FTWA number 13 from Cebu…

Judges’ comments: Yep…we’ve not had an FTWA from the Philippines airport since the end of July – a near three-month gap – a barren spell for the most prolific Arch of Triumph competitor in Asia. Nearly 60% of all FTWAs from the region have been provided by Cebu, that’s 13 from the 22 which have been submitted. Other Asian airports take note…this is how to do it!!

Jonny: 8.2; Kerry: 8.0; Marc: 7.9; Nick: 8.0 

Sunrise Airways Port-au-Prince to Orlando 18 October 

Sunrise Airways Orlando

These water jets are clearing the upper limbs of this aircraft with perfect precision…

Judges’ comments: Now the definition of a sunrise or sunset is the instant when the upper limb of the Sun’s disk is just touching the horizon, this corresponds to an altitude of -0.833° degrees for the Sun. We’re sure that when welcoming the arrival of Sunrise Airways, the altitude of 45° degrees is more than ideal in order to produce a splendid arch which jets easily clear the upper limbs of the aircraft…as clearly shown by the firefighters here in Orlando…  

Jonny: 7.6; Kerry: 7.3; Marc: 7.1; Nick 7.4 

Pobeda Moscow Vnukovo to Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden 19 October 

A very angular FTWA from Bavaria…emulating the nearby mountains perhaps?

Judges’ comments: This is it…this is the annual FTWA competition entry from the Bavarian airport. Since Karlruhe/Baden-Baden sent us its first Arch of Triumph in 2015, its been one FTWA per year since then. With 32.4 in 2015, and a very substantial 36.9 last year (securing it seventh spot overall on the 2016 leader board)…this year’s entry has scored just 30.0. Here is hoping next year’s entry from the airport can top this…

Jonny: 7.2; Kerry: 7.2; Marc: 7.5; Nick: 8.1  

Hainan Airlines Chongqing to New York JFK 20 October 

Hainan Airlines New York JFK

Is the right-hand tender parked on the banks of Jamaica Bay??

Judges’ comments: Now maybe the right-hand tender wanted to shake things up with welcoming JFK’s fifth Chinese carrier, seeing if it could get its water jet to reach the aircraft from 12,186 metres away, mimicking the 12,186-kilometre distance that this aircraft had just travelled from Chongqing. That would place it somewhere on the other side of Jamaica Bay, and judging by the small mist coming from the right of the picture, it wasn’t that far off…  

Jonny: 6.1; Kerry: 5.8; Marc: 6.1; Nick 6.0  

Thai Lion Air Bangkok Don Mueang to Taipei Taoyuan 20 October 

Thai Lion Air Taipei Taoyuan

A trio of tenders at Taipei Taoyuan…

Judges’ comments: It is always nice to see an airport going the extra mile when welcoming a new carrier, and Taipei Taoyuan has done just that by having three tenders produce the water arch to greet Thai Lion Air. While going the extra mile is great, it can distort the balance of what an arch is meant to be…however, its great that they had a third tender to help try and hide the rainy weather in Taipei on 20 October… 

Jonny: 7.8; Kerry: 7.6; Marc: 7.1; Nick 7.5    


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