Asia takes its fourth Arch of Triumph win

So far in 2018, we have received 191 FTWAs from around the world. Each one of these is meticulously categorised by the data elves by world region, airline business model type and aircraft type used on the inaugural flight. In terms of the kit flying the first flight its the narrow-bodies which lead the way, with 113 (59%). The battle for second spot is a bit more intense, with wide-body aircraft (33; 17%) just sneaking it from regional jets (28; 15%). Despite receiving three FTWAs this week (should have been four – see LOT Polish Airlines below), turboprops have the wooden spoon so far, with just 17 (9%) new route baptisms. Keep Monitoring!!

Date Route FTWA Airport Score
01-May Ukraine International Airlines Kiev Boryspil to Delhi Delhi (DEL 37.2
08-Apr flydubai Dubai to Krakow Krakow (KRK) 37.1
18-May AirAsia Kuala Lumpur to Hua Hin Hua Hin (HHQ) 36.5
22-Apr La Compagnie Paris Orly to New York Newark Paris Orly (ORY) 36.1
11-Feb Qatar Airways Doha to Canberra Canberra (CBR) 35.9
14-May Aegean Airlines Athens to Zagreb Zagreb (ZAG) 35.3
28-Jan Tianjin Airlines Zhengzhou to Sydney Sydney (SYD) 35.2
09-Jan Philippines AirAsia Manila to Jakarta Jakarta (CGK) 35
14-Feb Frontier Airlines Denver to Jacksonville Jacksonville (JAX) 34.4
28-Apr S7 Airlines St. Petersburg to Alicante Alicante (ALC) 33.6

AirAsia Kuala Lumpur to Hua Hin 18 May

Now Everyone Can FTWA…but they do not use proper English grammar…

Judges’ comments: What Is It With The Random Capitalisation Of Words These Days? Everyone Is At It…And Airlines Are Just As Guilty As Any Other Businesses. We Think It Looks Unsightly, Makes Words Hard To Read And Is Completely Unnecessary (As Well As Being Hard To Type). Fortunately This Ftwa (Surely We Have To Do That?), Is Far From Unsightly…And Rather Pleasing To The Eye…And This Week’s Winner…

Jonny: 8.9; Kerry: 9.3; Marc: 9.1; Nick: 9.2.

Finnair Helsinki to Bergen 15 May 

Finnair Bergen

Really like the big numbers on the air bridges in Bergen…looks like something off Thunderbirds…by the way Finnair is using Widerøe aircraft to fly this route…

Judges’ comments: New aircraft types are sometimes used on route launches, particularly as the CEO might be on board the first flight…so they like to show off the new kit. And this week we have two new factory-fresh aircraft being used…the first one being the next generation regional jet from Brazil, the E190-E2. The revolutionary aircraft is expected to deliver a 16% reduction in fuel consumption compared to today’s jets of a similar size. It also significantly reduces the amount of CO2 and NOx emissions versus comparable aircraft. So now you know…

Jonny: 1.9; Kerry: 3.0; Marc: 2.7; Nick: 2.5.

Eurowings Düsseldorf to Mostar 16 May

The first of two FTWAs from Bosnia and Herzegovina this week…

Judges’ comments: For those of you for which geography is not your strong point…Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. Mostar itself is a city in the southern part of the country, straddling the Neretva River. In terms of its tourism charms it is perhaps best known for the iconic Stari Most (Old Bridge), a reconstructed medieval arched bridge. So of course this FTWA is a local variant known as the ‘Stari Most’ water arch…

Jonny: 7.7; Kerry: 7.9; Marc: 8.0; Nick: 8.2.

Icelandair Reykjavik/Keflavik to Cleveland 16 May

Icelandair Cleveland

Would you look at the sharklets on that…

Judges’ comments: This is the second Arch of Triumph this week using a just off-the-production-line new variant of an existing aircraft model. This FTWA is just one of a few which we have had featuring the 737 MAX 8…notice the bigger engines and the sharklet wing-tips which make it look slightly different to the 737-800 which it will eventually replace. Aircraft recognition lesson over…

Jonny: 7.4; Kerry: 7.2; Marc: 6.6; Nick: 6.5.

Ryanair Athens to Rzeszow 16 May

Not only do you follow him…but he helps you park your aircraft too…

Judges’ comments: So often we see follow-me vehicles in these FTWA pictures from around the world…but very rarely do we see them hanging around to make sure the aircraft that was following them actually parks up nice and safely. Its good to know that you get the full service from the operations staff when you start a new route in Rzeszow…

Jonny: 5.5; Kerry: 6.2; Marc: 7.1; Nick: 7.0.

Volaris Costa Rica San Jose to Washington Dulles 16 May

Volaris Costa Rica Washington Dulles

Nice bit of aircraft reflection on the wet apron at Dulles…

Judges’ comments: Despite the fact that there seems to be only one fire tender on duty at probably close to midnight (the aircraft was scheduled to arrive at 23:35) at the airport…this FTWA is definitely getting extra marks from me for the photographer getting the iconic-looking tower at Dulles in the shot…unfortunately it won’t be enough to win…far from it…

Jonny: 3.8; Kerry: 3.7; Marc: 3.9; Nick: 3.7.

Air Canada Montreal to Baltimore/Washington 17 May

Where have the fire tenders gone…they were in the original image…

Judges’ comments: Unfortunately, the edited version of this image left us very little room for manoeuvre when we came to edit it for our own use…as it was a very long and thin picture we were sent. As a result we did have to lose the tenders which were in attendance for this Air Canada route launch….which for regular readers of this feature…we all know that loses you points…so please remember that next time you are editing your FTWA pictures to send to us…don’t trim too much!!

Jonny: 6.8; Kerry: 6.3; Marc: 6.2; Nick: 6.5.

Air Canada Montreal to Pittsburgh 17 May 

Air Canada Pittsburgh

At least the tenders are visible in Pittsburgh…

Judges’ comments: While Pittsburgh, unlike Baltimore/Washington, has at least managed to get one of its tenders in the image (another is hidden just behind the aircraft nose), it has lost points due to the photo angle. While some side-on FTWAs do score well, particularly when the close-up is on the tender, this attempt at Pittsburgh just does not cut the mustard as we say on this side of the pond…

Jonny: 4.8; Kerry: 4.5; Marc: 4.7; Nick: 5.0.

Air Canada Toronto Pearson to Providence 17 May

Air Canada Providence

How many different shades of grey can you see in this picture…?

Judges’ comments: A bit like the weather in Baltimore/Washington, which is 527 kilometres away but had almost identical conditions on the same day, a cloud burst does have a massive impact on the attractiveness of the water arch. As a result, even the best FTWA in the world will look drab and dour on a day like May 17 in Maryland so its seems. Grey skies, grey apron and grey FTWA. Or should that be gray skies, gray apron and gray FTWA for our American cousins…

Jonny: 8.1; Kerry: 7.9; Marc: 8.2; Nick: 8.0.

Wizz Air Kutaisi to Athens 17 May

Wizz Air Kutaisi

A better performance this time around for Kutaisi…

Judges’ comments: This is only the second FTWA that we have received from the Georgian airport in the five years of competition. The airline in question in September 2016 was also Wizz Air (a new route from Berlin Schönefeld)…but in that week Kutaisi only managed to score 18.3…so just less than two years on the airport has improved its score by 12.7 up to 31….an excellent achievement…

Jonny: 8.0; Kerry: 8.1; Marc: 7.4; Nick: 7.5.

WOW air Reykjavik/Keflavik to St. Louis 17 May

WOW air St. Louis

World’s smallest man turns his hand to aviation photography…

Judges’ comments: Is it just us in the office that thinks this…but does anyone else think that the photographer which took this image in St. Louis was lying down…or was just very small? Perhaps they were trying to get a new perspective from the height of two feet rather than the more usual five to six feet on this airport route launch marketing staple?? 

Jonny: 5.3; Kerry: 4.5; Marc: 4.8; Nick:.5.0.

Aer Lingus Dublin to Seattle-Tacoma 18 May 

Aer Lingus Seattle-Tacoma

We have the full-set of FTWAs this week now…thanks to this one from the US…

Judges’ comments: With the addition of this wide-body FTWA from Seattle-Tacoma, we now have a water arch baptising all four different aircraft types – props, regional jets, narrow and wide-bodies – at least as we classify them anyway. Its always good to see a wide-body FTWA nice and snug to the aircraft, as there is a tendency sometimes for the fire crews to give these types of aircraft more of a wide berth…but not here at Sea-Tac…

Jonny: 7.9; Kerry: 7.5; Marc: 7.8; Nick: 8.0.

Air North Whitehorse to Victoria 18 May 

Air North Victoria

This is a Canadian version of the Little Boy, Big Boy FTWA…

Judges’ comments: We have often seen one fire tender not provide quite as much flow as the other…but I’m not sure if we have even seen such a disparity in the equipment attending the Arch of Triumph as we are seeing above in Victoria. One appears to be a proper bit of kit…while the other looks like an Ops vehicle with a hose attached to it. The result is a very lob-sided FTWA…in more than one sense of the word!!

Jonny: 5.9; Kerry: 5.0; Marc: 5.4; Nick: 5.5.

Eurowings Stuttgart to Mostar 19 May

We think this ‘Stari Most’ FTWA is the best of the two from Mostar…

Judges’ comments: It is always interesting to know whether it was a different fire crew that performed this FTWA in Mostar…three days after the first one at the airport this week on 16 May. Certainly in terms of the scoring from the judges, we feel that this one has it…

Jonny: 8.9; Kerry: 9.0; Marc: 8.8; Nick: 8.8.

Germania Dresden to Bastia 19 May

Gahhhhhhhhhhhhh…that was bad timing from that conveyor truck…

Judges’ comments: Obviously no-one told the guy driving the conveyor truck that there was a FTWA taking place…and that he was about to brutally photo bomb the shot…either that or he simply just didn’t care! “I had to wait for two minutes for that Germania aircraft to push back…and there is a bratwurst in the crew room with my name on it…”

Jonny: 7.6; Kerry: 7.2; Marc: 7.5; Nick: 7.8.

Luxair Luxembourg to Bol 19 May 

Luxair Bol Brac

Is that a heat haze in Bol? Or did someone from the airport discover Instagram?

Judges’ comments: Some images that’s judges receive for this competition are edited in order to dramatise the effect of an FTWA, however Bol, on the island of Brac in Croatia, took it to an extreme level this week by entering this multi-filtered effort for Luxair’s arrival. Blur impact is 100%, however the efforts of Bol’s firefighters with this arch attempt certainly don’t add-up to the same standards…

Jonny: 5.4; Kerry: 5.3; Marc: 5.7; Nick: 5.5.

airBaltic Riga to Split 21 May 

airBaltic Split

Is this a regional jet or not…?

Judges’ comments: Given our new categories for registering each and every FTWA, we now have to decide whether an aircraft type is regional jet or not (wide-body, prop etc). The CS300 which is pictured above is right on the extreme edge of what can be called a regional jet given its size – it can be configured with 130 to 160 seats – which makes it a competitor with the A319neo and 737 MAX 7, and these latter aircraft types are considered as narrow-bodies. However, as the CS300 was originally conceived as a regional jet, namely the BRJ-X, or Bombardier Regional Jet eXpansion to give it its full name, we have therefore classified it as one. Glad we got that straight…

Jonny: 8.8; Kerry: 9.0; Marc: 9.0; Nick: 9.0.

LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw Chopin to Kaunas 21 May 

LOT Polish Airlines Kaunas

New route preparations are again thrown into disarray in Kaunas…

Judges’ comments: This route is scheduled to be flown by LOT’s Q400s (a turboprop), but yet again the powers that be decided to upgrade the aircraft type being used to a regional jet, probably because someone important from the airline was on board. What these decision makers never consider is the impact that this has on the FTWA preparations at Kaunas Airport’s fire station…which were expecting one aircraft type only to be faced by a different one. Don’t people realise that these celebrations are acts of precision!! Sigh…

Jonny: 7.6; Kerry: 7.5; Marc: 7.7; Nick: 7.9.


Comments are closed