Lisbon Lions take second title in three weeks

Of the new metrics which have been introduced for this year’s competition, it is the battle between the carrier types which is the closest, with the lead changing hands almost on a weekly basis. Full service carriers currently have first place, with 120 (48%) FTWAs so far. With 20 out of 23 entries this week, this type of business model has outstripped the now second-placed low-cost carriers, which have 105 (42%) FTWAs. This could all change next week, depending on the number and type of FTWAs that we receive. In a far off third position are regional carriers (19; 8%), with leisure airlines (six; 2%) keeping the bottom spot warm. 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
10-Jun TAP Air Portugal Lisbon to Florence Lisbon (LIS) 37.9
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

TAP Air Portugal Lisbon to Florence 10 June

Has ANA got a job lot of red dye??

Judges’ comments: An FTWA from the Portuguese airport operator ANA is nothing unless there is some coloured dye involved. However, what the firefighters at Lisbon Airport are able to do is marry this bonus element of inaugural flight celebrations with a well-constructed water arch…as we well know…as they are the current leader board toppers…and indeed this week’s winners. Not bad for saying they won just two weeks ago…

Jonny: 9.5; Kerry: 9.6; Marc: 9.6; Nick: 9.3.

Avianca Argentina Buenos Aires Aeroparque to Santa Fe 6 June

Avianca Argentina Santa Fe

Lost…one fire tender…responds to the name Squirty…

Judges’ comments: Where is the other fire tender in this image? Did it just not show up at all?? Or was it just cut out of the image by an over-zealous photographer or marketing executive? One thing is for sure…with just half of a arch, the judges can only give a maximum score of 5.0…

Jonny: 4.5; Kerry: 4.1; Marc: 3.9; Nick: 4.0.

Air Canada Vancouver to Zurich 7 June

Air Canada Zurich

Does this FTWA ‘Matter’…you bet it does!!

Judges’ comments: At 4,478 metres, the Matterhorn is perhaps the most famous mountain in Europe – and with its symmetric pyramid shape, it looms over the breathtaking alpine panorama. This landmark is at the border of the western Swiss canton of Valais between Zermatt and the Italian resort of Breuil-Cervinia. The Zurich airport firefighters have had two opportunities this week to emulate the mountain this week…and we think this one is best…

Jonny: 7.6; Kerry: 7.2; Marc: 7.9; Nick: 7.5.

Air Canada Rouge Montreal to Bucharest 7 June 

Air Canada Rouge Bucharest

Follow me…through the mist!!

Judges’ comments: The judge’s can appreciate the artistry of creating a water curtain for the inaugural aircraft to pass through, but as with this image, it does have the tendency to mask the airline brand…which is surely the point of this type of new route celebration…”look at this new airline we have got…oooops you can’t actually see which carrier it is!”

Jonny: 7.3; Kerry: 7.5; Marc: 8.0; Nick: 7.9.

American Airlines Charlotte Douglas to Northwest Florida Beaches 7 June

American Airlines Northwest Florida Beaches

This is first of seven FTWAs featuring American Airlines…so its a very wet week for the carrier…

Judges’ comments: This is only Northwest Florida Beaches’ fourth serving airline and perhaps most significantly, it completes USB3 line-up for the airport. For those of you that do not understand our acronym, the USB3 comprises of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airline, the US’ Big Three hub and spoke carriers.

Jonny: 7.5; Kerry: 7.4; Marc: 7.7; Nick: 7.6.

American Airlines Chicago O’Hare to Burlington 7 June 

American Airlines Burlington

Plenty of tenders ready for this route launch…

Judges’ comments: While Burlington’s fire tenders five and three are doing their best to create a thing of beauty (in terms of water arches at least), one of the attending rescue vehicles seems to have lost the script? However, looking at the wind conditions on 7 June in Vermont, the judges are not sure whether it couwould have helped much…

Jonny: 6.2; Kerry: 6.0; Marc: 5.5; Nick: 5.7.

American Airlines Chicago O’Hare to Missoula 7 June

American Airlines Missoula

A mountainous FTWA from Montana…

Judges’ comments: Did you know that there are at least 98 named mountains in Missoula County in Montana. The judges are hoping that the one in the background of this FTWA is Waterworks Hill or Pilot Knob…yes these are apparently real mountain names in Missoula!! So this water arch has been baptised as “Pilot Knob”…

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

American Airlines Chicago O’Hare to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 7 June

American Airlines Wilkes-Barre/Scranton

A real regional jet show on display from American Airlines’ partners…

Judges’ comments: While these American Airlines aircraft all look the same, they are flown by several different operating carriers. The Northwest Florida Beaches and South Bend routes are served by ExpressJet Airlines; Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, Burlington and Missoula sectors are all operated by Envoy Air; and Pensacola is flown by Republic Air. Only the Miami-Bonaire route below is served by the mainline carrier itself. Do you feel more informed now?

Jonny: 7.1; Kerry: 7.3; Marc: 7.5; Nick: 7.4.

American Airlines Dallas/Forth Worth to South Bend 7 June

American Airlines South Bend

Are we coming to do the FTWA or to put out that airborne fire??

Judges’ comments: Is there a fire on the right-hand side, out of the shot here in South Bend? Or is that an exhaust plume from what is likely to be a massive engine housed inside the right-hand tender?? Either way, they have the right guys and girls in the vicinity to deal with any problems!!

Jonny: 6.2; Kerry: 6.4; Marc: 6.0; Nick: 6.3.

American Airlines Philadelphia to Pensacola 7 June 

American Airlines Pensacola

We hope that aircraft don’t have to follow the line in the foreground…as taxiing times would be a lot longer…

Judges’ comments: In global airport new route marketing circles this type of FTWA is known as a ‘Kardashian’…because of the rear view of the Republic Air E175. While the water arch is a bit flat, and will just about clear the tailfin, it scores well with the judges, and is the best of the bunch from American Airlines’ numerous route launches this week…

Jonny: 8.0; Kerry: 8.3; Marc: 8.1; Nick: 8.2.

Ryanair Manchester to Ponta Delgada 7 June 

Ryanair Ponta Delgada Manchester

Right on the line…and no question!

Judges’ comments: If the judges awarded points for pilots’ driving on the ground, then we would be giving top marks to this Ryanair flying jockey, as he has the 737-800 bang on the centreline. However, that said, the FTWA he or she is receiving from the Portuguese is not quite central over the aircraft’s fuselage, but its not far off either…

Jonny: 8.2; Kerry: 8.4; Marc: 8.3; Nick: 8.2.

United Airlines Houston Intercontinental to Akron-Canton 7 June

United Airlines Akron-Canton

A very neat and tidy water arch…

Judges’ comments: The rumour that was going around the Akron-Canton Airport fire station before this route launch was that if the fire crew doing this FTWA for United Airlines’ new service won the weekly Arch of Triumph title, the Station Commander would take that crew out for dinner at Ken Stewart’s Grille – 1970 West Market Street, Akron. Hmmm…those crab and wasabi deviled eggs sound nice (and expensive too!)…but it looks like the Commander’s credit card will be safe from taking a pasting…

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

United Airlines San Francisco to Zurich 7 June

United Airlines Zurich

A curvy-looking FTWA from the home of Tobleroning…

Judges’ comments: It is important to remember that one of the first ever discernible FTWA styles was created in Switzerland – known as ‘Tobleroning’ after the triangular-shaped confectionery, which has the Matterhorn on its box. The pointy-shaped FTWA should be the stock-in-trade for the Swiss firefighters, but it seems to be have been abandoned for a more-curvaceous offering…

Jonny: 6.4; Kerry: 6.5; Marc: 7.8; Nick: 7.0.

Aegean Airlines Athens to Turin 8 June

Is this the one FTWA that we are going to receive from Turin this year…

Judges’ comments: We know that airport marketing budgets are always being squeezed and perhaps that is the reason why we have only ever received one FTWA in each year of the Arch of Triumph competition from Turin. So the Italian airport has been a long-time supporter of this regular airport marketing battle, and even won the first weekly title in the 2015 competition, but ended up finishing 30th out of 40th winners that year.

Jonny: 6.1; Kerry: 6.3; Marc: 6.7; Nick: 6.5.

Air Canada Rouge Toronto Pearson to Porto 8 June 

Air Canada Rouge Porto

Did all those people fit in those two vehicles?

Judges’ comments: When this FTWA arrived in the offices earlier this week, one of the judges remarked “it looks list a scene from Carrie.” For those of you that do not know, Carrie is a 1976 American supernatural horror film, based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. If you have seen the film…you will know what the judge was on about…

Jonny: 9.0; Kerry: 9.2; Marc: 9.3; Nick: 9.4.

Air Italy Milan Malpensa to Miami 8 June

Air Italy Milan Malpensa

A new airline for the Arch of Triumph??

Judges’ comments: For our regular readers of this feature, many of you will not have seen Air Italy grace this fantastic competition before. However, it is just an old airline (Meridiana) that has gone through a rebrand, as well as a financial and managerial overhaul from parent company Qatar Airways. Even the A330-200 above is leased from the Doha-base MEB3 carrier…

Jonny: 7.3; Kerry: 7.9; Marc: 7.8; Nick: 7.7.

Air Italy Milan Malpensa to Miami 8 June

Air Italy Miami

Its the battle of the airports beginning with M…

Judges’ comments: These FTWAs are probably split by just 11 hours (the block time between Milan and Milan was 10 hours 45 minutes)…however there is a gulf in terms of the quality between the two water arches. The Italian version has a very respectable score of 30.7, while the US one barely gets to 20…

Jonny: 4.5; Kerry: 4.0; Marc: 5.1; Nick: 5.0.

Emirates Dubai to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen 8 June

Emirates Istanbul

Whooooooooooooa! Extreme close-up of this Emirates aircraft

Judges’ comments: You can almost hear the photographer briefing at Sabiha Gökçen…”whatever you do…make sure you get the airline’s name in the picture…that is most important thing you can do!” Actually that is pretty much all the photographer did…take a picture of the Emirates logo…cutting out the tenders and portion of the 777-300s tail…

Jonny: 4.8; Kerry: 4.0; Marc: 5.2; Nick: 5.1.

Emirates Dubai to London Stansted 8 June 

Emirates Stansted

Same day, same aircraft type, different airport…

Judges’ comments: This new London Stansted route means Emirates now serves seven airports in the UK, while it offers 10 daily flights from London to Dubai. As a result of the MEB3 carrier’s latest expansion in the UK market, the airline will be offering a staggering 61,000 weekly seats to the European country – with 57% of its weekly capacity flown to the UK’s capital city.

Jonny: 7.9; Kerry: 8.2; Marc: 8.5; Nick: 8.4.

American Airlines Miami to Bonaire 9 June 

American Airlines Bonaire

A rare thing indeed…a Caribbean FTWA…

Judges’ comments: With nearly 250 FTWAs received so far in 2018, this is only the second one we have had from the Caribbean. The first one was in May, so maybe are going to get one a month from now on…here’s hoping! This one is a classic ‘big boy, little boy’…with the left-hand tender clearly being the junior partner in this water arch…

Jonny: 6.7; Kerry: 6.8; Marc: 6.5; Nick: 6.4.

Finnair Helsinki to Minsk 9 June 

Finnair Minsk

This FTWA would have been better if those darn steps hadn’t been in the way…

Judges’ comments: A first time FTWA from our Belarussian friends. While the national carrier Belavia has received some water arches from airports around Europe over the six-year history of the Arch of Triumph competition, the country’s biggest airport had never sent us an entry until this week. We have definitely had worse first-time FTWAs…that’s for sure!!

Jonny: 7.7; Kerry: 7.7; Marc: 7.9; Nick: 7.8.

Kuwait Airways Kuwait City to Trabzon 9 June

Kuwait Airways Trabzon

I’d like an FTWA with a sea view…

Judges’ comments: Trabzon is a city on the Black Sea coast of northeast Turkey. Well that explains why the sea is in the background of this picture at least. The city is located on the historical Silk Road, and as a result became a melting pot of religions, languages and culture for centuries and a trade gateway to Persia and the Caucasus. With this new route to Kuwait City, those old trading routes are clearly still open…

Jonny: 7.3; Kerry: 7.2; Marc: 7.4; Nick: 7.5.

TAP Air Portugal Lisbon to Florence 10 June 

TAP Air Portugal Florence

Follow-me to 250 FTWAs this year…

Judges’ comments: With this FTWA, the 2018 Arch of Triumph competition has now reached the 250 barrier. It was the third week in July when last year’s competition reached this significant milestone, so our data elves are confidently predicting a total number of entries this year in the 450-475 region…the best-ever result…

Jonny: 6.3; Kerry: 6.5; Marc: 6.7; Nick: 6.4.


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