Lisbon Lions roar with pride over Arch of Triumph win

Lisbon Lions – hear them roar!! Last week’s winner of the Arch of Triumph, and now leader board toppers, was the crew from ANA’s Lisbon Airport. Standing proud are (back row): Tiago Gomes, Watch Commander; Luciano Reto, Firefighter; Marian Silva, Firefighter; Miguel Moreira, Supervisor; Ricardo Gonçalves, Watch Commander; Tiago Braga, Crew Commander; Carlos Pacheco, Crew Commander; Ricardo Neves, Firefighter; Carlos Sequira, Supervisor; (front row) Juliano Santos, Firefighter; Catarina Alves, Crew Commander; Hélder Ferreira, Crew Commander; Flávios Morais, Firefighter; Soraia Pereira, Firefighter; and Telmo Matias, Firefighter.

The top of the 2018 Arch of Triumph leader board has been blown wide open over the last two weeks, with Lisbon (pictured above) and Darwin airports muscling ahead of the previous table topper Delhi, which managed just three weeks at the summit of this most-sought-after competition. To get into the top 10 airports from around the world battling it out for new route marketing glory, entrants must now score in excess of 8.75 per judge (there are four of us). Also, as a result of the very high scoring winners over the last two weeks, the average victorious tally is a massive 34.1. With the exception of the two weeks of the public votes at the start of S18, this week is the busiest so far this year, with a whopping 23 entries – proving that this competition is as important as ever. Keep Monitoring!! 

Date Route FTWA Airport Score
24-May Delta Air Lines Atlanta to Lisbon Lisbon (LIS) 39.7
30-May Donghai Airlines Shenzhen to Darwin Darwin (DRW) 38.0
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) 35.0

Donghai Airlines Shenzhen to Darwin 30 May 

Triple A…Awesome Aussie Arch from Darwin

Judges’ comments: Australian airports do have some pedigree in this competition, with Sydney having finished twice in second spot in 2014 and 2015 (it was also fourth and 10th in 2015 too!). Additionally Gold Coast took fourth place in the 2016 battle for airport marketing glory. With this weekly win, Darwin is now set to join this elite group of Aussie airports…

Jonny: 9.3; Kerry: 9.7; Marc: 9.5; Nick: 9.5.

CemAir Johannesburg to Richards Bay 29 May 

CemAir Richards Bay

Is the fire truck treating the little plane with caution?

Judges’ comments: FTWAs with turboprops are the rarest of all those that we receive from airports around the world, with just 20 (9%) entered so far during 2018 (there are another two below). However, it feels that because the aircraft performing the first flight is only a 19-seat Beech 1900 that the firefighters at Richards Bay have been ultra cautious…with just one tender in attendance…and a water jet with very little umph!

Jonny: 6.2; Kerry: 5.5; Marc: 5.9; Nick: 5.9.

Air China Beijing to Copenhagen 30 May 

Air China Copenhagen

Next time…let’s get a bit closer to the action guys…

Judges’ comments: We are of course aware of the safety aspects which must be followed when something like a FTWA is undertaken on the airfield. The last thing we want is any staff or passengers getting injured, or an aircraft damaged, solely for the airport marketing cause. That said, surely the photographer could have got a bit closer to the action rather than taking the picture from Sweden…

Jonny: 5.2; Kerry: 5.1; Marc: 5.1; Nick: 5.0.

Allegiant Air Oakland to Memphis 30 May 

Allegiant Air Oakland Memphis

Nice to see that Grizz was on hand to welcome Allegiant Air…

Judges’ comments: For those of you not in the know, Grizz (above centre) is the Memphis Grizzlies mascot. The Grizzlies compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member team of the league’s Western Conference Southwest Division. Now in his 18th season, Grizz, has remained a furry fan favourite among members of Grizz Nation, so much so that he was named 2011 NBA Mascot of the Year as voted by his peers.

Jonny: 3.8; Kerry: 3.5; Marc: 3.6; Nick: 3.6.

Icelandair Reykjavik/Keflavik to Dallas/Fort Worth 30 May 

Icelandair Dallas/Fort Worth

Icelandair hat-trick of entries…but beaten by nemesis…

Judges’ comments: There cannot be many airlines which have managed to have an FTWA from three different US airports three weeks on-the-bounce. But that is exactly what Icelandair has done over the last three weeks. Hold on…we are just getting something in from our data elves…Iceland’s ‘other’ carrier WOWair (before this week) managed to get five consecutive weeks…with five different US airports…shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh don’t tell anyone!

Jonny: 8.8; Kerry: 8.5; Marc: 8.8; Nick: 9.0.

AirAsia India Bengaluru to Surat 1 June

An Indian newcomer to the Arch of Triumph…

Judges’ comments: This is the first time that Surat has sent us a FTWA – and its not a bad effort. For those of you that don’t know…the Indian airport handled just over 550,000 passengers in 2017. This means that it is the 42nd busiest airport in the country…with the nation’s busiest – Delhi – processing 63 million passengers more than tiny Surat!

Jonny: 6.7; Kerry: 7.0; Marc: 7.1; Nick: 7.5.

Air Canada Toronto Pearson to Shannon 1 June

Air Canada Shannon

Is that Air Canada aircraft wearing a mask?

Judges’ comments: Is that a superhero plane wanting to remain incognito as it touches down in Ireland to receive its FTWA? Does the 737 MAX 8 have a regular job at The Daily Planet (presumably as the Transport Correspondant) to provide it with cover when it is not performing inaugural flights?? Is it a bird…no its definitely a plane…

Jonny: 8.4; Kerry: 8.8; Marc: 8.4; Nick: 8.3.

Cyprus Airways Larnaca to Prague 1 June

Cyprus Airways Prague

This is only the ninth destination that the airline is flying to…

Judges’ comments: Cyprus Airways (the new one) is only a young airline, as this route to the Czech Republic is just its ninth destination since it launched. With its 10th destination not too far away – a twice-weekly service to Chania starts next month – we expect it to improve on its very creditable 36.1 scored this time out…

Jonny: 9.1; Kerry: 8.8; Marc: 9.0; Nick: 9.2.

easyJet Berlin Tegel to Alicante 1 June

Second place behind you-know-who…

Judges’ comments: With three FTWAs this week, and nine in total, easyJet has leapfrogged the likes of Flybondi, Frontier Airlines and Qatar Airways, which were all tied in second on seven water arches a piece, to claim the #2 spot for itself. It is still lagging behind its arch rival Ryanair, which moved up to 11 FTWAs so far in 2018 with its water arch below.

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

easyJet Berlin Tegel to Cologne Bonn 1 June

easyJet Cologne Bonn

A colour injection required in Cologne Bonn…

Judges’ comments: If it wasn’t for the splash of orange on the front of the easyJet A320 and the yellow of the fire tender on the right…this whole picture would be a drab and dreary grey. Fortunately the redeeming feature of the image above is a handsomely constructed FTWA, which does its best to add a bit of pazzazz…

 Jonny: 7.5; Kerry: 8.0; Marc: 8.5; Nick: 7.6.

Iberia Barcelona to Burgos 1 June

A mis-matched FTWA in Burgos…

Judges’ comments: This water arch is all about the right-hand side. By contrast the left-hand side looks positively weedy. Tender H-1 is clearly past its prime…and needs to swap numbers with the right-hand vehicle…which is unfairly designated as H-2 in the opinion of the judges…

Jonny: 7.9; Kerry: 8.1; Marc: 8.1; Nick: 8.3.

Laudamotion Palma de Mallorca to Hannover 1 June

Some consistent scoring from the judges for this water arch…

Judges’ comments: This is the first time that this has happened in the five-year history of the Arch of Triumph. All four judges have given exactly the same score for this FTWA in Germany. It will probably be another five years before it happens again…

Jonny: 8.0; Kerry: 8.0; Marc: 8.0; Nick: 8.0.

Laudamotion Vienna to Palma de Mallorca 1 June

Not siesta time in Spain this week…

Judges’ comments: There are seven FTWAs from six different Spanish airports this week, making it the most productive nation in Europe, with the region sending in 16 entries altogether. This is the pick of the bunch from Palma de Mallorca with a tally of 37.1, 1.4 more points than Alicante…its Spanish peer airport…

Jonny: 9.0; Kerry: 9.3; Marc: 9.3; Nick: 9.5.

Ryanair Palma de Mallorca to Zaragoza 1 June

Double vision in Spain?

Judges’ comments: It is always interesting when an airport has more than one FTWA entered in an individual week and on different days, as it probably gives the respective fire crews a bit of an edge when delivering their offering. With a total score in excess of 30, the crew on duty on 1 June at Zaragoza have done well…but have they done well enough?

Jonny: 7.8; Kerry: 7.6; Marc: 7.7; Nick: 7.7.

Air Astana Astana to Tyumen 2 June

A local-style FTWA…a ‘Ramstore Bridge’…

Judges’ comments: For those of you too uneducated in the ways of FTWAs, this is clearly a ‘Ramstore Bridge’ water arch. The bridge, officially called Ramstore Arch Bridge, spans the Ishim River in Astana, and was built between 2007 and 2008. The Ishim River is a left tributary of the Irtysh River. This FTWA is a homage to that fine piece of construction…

Jonny: 8.2; Kerry: 8.9; Marc: 8.7; Nick: 9.0.

Air Canada Rouge Toronto Pearson to Zagreb 2 June

Air Canada Rouge Zagreb

So close and yet so far for Zagreb…

Judges’ comments: These guys know their FTWA onions that’s for sure. Having won just a few weeks ago, Zagreb Airport’s firefighters nearly managed another win this week, losing out by the smallest possible of margins (0.1). Already in seventh position on the 2018 leader board, in an ordinary week it’s score would have seen the Croatian capital city airport also claim second spot…but this is not an ordinary week…

Jonny: 9.8; Kerry: 9.6; Marc: 9.0; Nick: 9.5.

easyJet Berlin Tegel to Jerez 2 June

X marks the spot in Jerez…

Judges’ comments: Most airport fire tenders have numbers on. Many have letters on too. But we are pretty sure that we have never seen any with an X on it before. Unfortunately this FTWA is lacking the ‘X Factor’ to make it a weekly winner…with a score of just 25.9.

Jonny: 5.1; Kerry: 6.8; Marc: 6.5; Nick: 7.5.

Pobeda St. Petersburg to Girona 2 June

High standards are hard to beat…

Judges’ comments: As we have already said, we have had a busy week…with 23 entries in Week 22 of the 2018 Arch of Triumph competition. The standards have been very high too, with 15 of the FTWAs receiving scores in excess of 30 points. On that basis Girona’s tally of just 27.5 is never going to make an impression during a high-scoring week like this…

Jonny: 6.0; Kerry: 6.9; Marc: 6.9; Nick: 7.7.

LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw Chopin to Hannover 4 June

A Deutschland doppelgänger in Hannover…

Judges’ comments: Just like Zaragoza, Hannover is the second airport this week to send in two entries for the Arch of Triumph competition – both again on 1 and 4 June. But unlike its Spanish counterpart, it is the fire crew from earlier in the week that will be the kings of the German airport’s fire station, having beaten the second water arch providers by 1.9 points to secure a local victory…

Jonny: 5.9; Kerry: 8.2; Marc: 7.5; Nick: 8.5.

SUN-AIR Friedrichshafen to Düsseldorf 4 June

Is that a Zeppelin airship in the background??

Judges’ comments: A little bit more research into why there is an airship in the background of this picture reveals that Friedrichshafen Airport is home to the Zeppelin Hangar. Apparently you can book airship pleasure flights over the Bodensee (or Lake Constance as it is more popularly known) from 30 minutes up to two hours. It cheaper than you think and a great gift. So get booking now!!

Jonny: 7.2; Kerry: 8.7; Marc: 8.2; Nick: 8.8.

VLM Airlines Antwerp to Cologne Bonn 4 June

Two FTWAs on the same aircraft and same inaugural flight…

Judges’ comments: This is the first of two FTWAs on the same new double-stopping route. Flying from Antwerp to Cologne Bonn, then onto Rostock before returning to Cologne Bonn, and then finally departing back to Belgium, there was certainly every opportunity to baptise the aircraft during a busy day for this Fokker 50.

Jonny: 7.3; Kerry: 7.6; Marc: 7.5; Nick: 7.5.

VLM Airlines Antwerp to Rostock (via Cologne Bonn) 4 June

VLM Airlines Rostock

Classic example of getting your water jet pressures wrong..

Judges’ comments: This FTWA has all the elements of potentially being a great one. The two tenders are clearly visible…as is the aircraft and its branding. What is wrong is the structure of the arch…which lacks balance. Take this feedback on board for next time Rostock’s firefighters…we know what we are talking about!

Jonny: 7.3; Kerry: 7.0; Marc: 7.5; Nick: 7.0.

Volotea Venice Marco Polo to Zaragoza 4 June

Which crew has bagged the bragging rights in Spain?

Judges’ comments: It seems like the fire crew on 4 June (if indeed it is a different one) will be able to command the remote control for the fire station TV, having beaten the 1 June fire crew at the Spanish airport by 3.2 points. With a far more symmetrical-looking FTWA it is easy to see why they won the local bragging rights…

Jonny: 8.3; Kerry: 8.5; Marc: 8.5; Nick: 8.7.


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