European airports have seven of 2018 Arch of Triumph top 10

This week’s Arch of Triumph sees the competition finish just one FTWA away from the 300-water-arch mark. Of those numerous finely crafted water sculptures, the majority of baptisms have been rained down upon narrow-body aircraft (typically 737s or A320s), with 171 (or 57%) received so far this year. As this category is unlikely to be overtaken, the focus on this metric is for second position, with wide-bodies (56, 19%) just ahead of regional jets (48, 16%). In last position of the four designated aircraft segments are the props, with just 24 (8%) provided in the 2018 competition, including two this week. 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
2-Jul LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw Chopin to Billund Billund (BLL) 37.6
15-Jun Air Canada Rouge Montreal to Lisbon Lisbon (LIS) 37.2
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
22-Jun easyJet Belfast International to Venice Marco Polo Belfast International (BFS) 36.0

LOT Polish Airlines Warsaw Chopin to Billund 2 July 

LOT Polish Airlines Billund

If the aircraft was just a little bit further forward…this would have been perfect…

Judges’ comments: Thanks to a duo of water arches this week, Denmark has provided four different FTWA airports in 2018, with Billund and Bornholm joining Aarhus and Copenhagen. Fellow Danish airport Aalborg last sent us an FTWA in 2015, so we are keen for the gateway to take our Danish tally this year up to five sometime soon. That said, Billund is the only Danish airport to have scooped a weekly win…

Jonny: 9.5; Kerry: 9.6; Marc: 9.3; Nick: 9.2.

United Airlines Denver to Vernal 26 June 

United Airlines Vernal

Is there any water in this so-called water arch?

Judges’ comments: As the 2018 tally of water arches creeps close to 300, it is interesting to note the share that regional jets have. With 48 regional jet entries received so far this year, the aircraft type now commands 16% of all FTWAs. That makes it the third-most popular of the four categories which our data elves use…or to look at it another way, the second-least popular…

Jonny: 2.8; Kerry: 2.2; Marc: 2.5; Nick: 2.3.

ASL Airlines Montpellier to Oudja 27 June

ASL Airlines Montpellier

Which vehicle is going to win this game of chicken? Our money is on the plane!

Judges’ comments: With France beating Argentina 4-3 in the Round of 16 at the World Cup earlier this week, you could forgive Montpellier’s fire fighters for having their minds on the game when they performed this FTWA on 27 June…as the big match was three days later on Saturday 30 June. In honour of the fantastic performance by France’s Kylian Mbappe, who completely overshadowed Argentina’s Lionel Messi, this FTWA has been retrospectively named ‘Mbappe’…

Jonny: 7.6; Kerry: 7.2; Marc: 7.7; Nick: 7.5.

easyJet London Gatwick to Ancona 27 June

easyJet Ancona

Is that a baggage trolley on the apron?

Judges’ comments: With one half of the arch looking more like some wispy clouds than a water jet…and the other looking like it was aiming for the easyJet aircraft’s engine there is some work needed on this FTWA. Don’t even get us started on the random bits of apron clutter!!

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

Air Malta Malta to Tarbes Lourdes 29 June 

Air Malta Tarbes Lourdes

We love a special livery aircraft on an inaugural flight…

Judges’ comments: A common theme the judges have observed over the six years of this competition is the regular use of either a larger or newer aircraft (better on board product for VIPs) for the inaugural flight, or as has happened with the Tarbes Lourdes route launch by Air Malta above, the use of a special livery aircraft. This A320 (9H-AEO) carries a special Valletta European Capital of Culture colourscheme.

Jonny: 7.8; Kerry: 8.1; Marc: 7.6; Nick: 8.0.

Air Namibia Windhoek to Lagos and Accra 29 June 

Air Namibia Lagos

An FTWA brought to you by Zenith Bank…

Judges’ comments: Zenith Bank is a Nigerian multinational financial services provider, and from this angle, it was the right-hand side provider of this FTWA that greeted the arrival of Air Namibia’s first flight from Windhoek. Hopefully Lagos has not overdrawn from its water salute account, as it will need to provide a more valuable FTWA than this one if it wants to contend for the Arch of Triumph title… 

Jonny: 3.5; Kerry: 2.9; Marc: 3.1; Nick: 3.3.

Aeroflot Moscow Sheremetyevo to Naples 1 July

Aeroflot Naples

Just how much apron clutter do we need?

Judges’ comments: Four people (What are they all doing at the head of stand? Only one appears to be doing any work!) and at least six vehicles are in this FTWA image. The judges are sticklers for the clean lines of a good water arch…which should feature just the fire tenders which are undertaking the FTWA…not follow-mes or the fire chief’s jeep…just the trucks… 

Jonny: 6.8; Kerry: 6.1; Marc: 6.2; Nick: 6.5.

Aeroflot Moscow Sheremetyevo to Verona 1 July

The battle of the Italian airports welcoming Aeroflot services this week…but who won?

Judges’ comments: Aeroflot launched two new Italian routes on the same day this week, giving Naples and Verona airports the opportunity to slug it out for the honour of providing the best FTWA for the Russian carrier. Although both efforts have significant gaps in the water arches, the entry from Verona – the city of love – has caught the collective eyes of the judges…

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

AirAsia Penang to Phuket 1 July

AirAsia Penang

Our second FTWA of 2018 from the Malaysia airport…

Judges’ comments: This is the second FTWA which we have received from Penang this year. The first was in February when the Malaysian airport welcomed the arrival of Qatar Airways’ service from Doha. That water arch notched up a score of 29.2…so this time out…with a tally of 28.6…the airport’s performance has slipped back somewhat…

Jonny: 7.1; Kerry: 7.0; Marc: 7.2; Nick: 7.3.

Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa to Barcelona 1 July 

Ethiopian Airlines Barcelona

So close to winning this week…apart from those two FTWA which were better!!

Judges’ comments: Nobody remembers who came second or third in a competition apparently…and we are no different…in fact we have already forgotten which Spanish airport sent in this FTWA – just kidding!! On a normal week this effort from Barcelona may well have been the victor…but instead it was given a Danish pasting by Billund…

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

LATAM Airlines Sao Paulo Guarulhos to Boston 1 July 

LATAM Airlines Boston

It’s more ‘meh’ than ‘Cheers’ in Boston…

Judges’ comments: When people travel to Boston, one of the must-see places is Cheers, best remembered internationally as the exterior of the bar seen in the hit NBC sitcom of the same name. Even one of’s data elves has been to the bar, and he can confirm that he got a much better welcome there then LATAM Airlines did from Boston’s firefighters at Logan International on first flight inauguration day…

Jonny: 3.2; Kerry: 2.5; Marc: 2.7; Nick: 3.0.

Silver Airways Boston to Bar Harbor 1 July 

Silver Airways Bar Harbor

Will the pilot be able to see us if we hide behind the fire truck??

Judges’ comments: As we always say when we are presented with a FTWA like the one above, the maximum we can score half a water arch is half of the potential tally, which is 5.0. If the other half of this FTWA was a mirror image of the one we can see, then Bar Harbor would have scored a far more respectable 29.6 this week…rather than just 14.8…

Jonny: 3.9; Kerry: 3.7; Marc: 3.5; Nick: 3.7.

United Airlines New York Newark to Presque Isle 1 July 

United Airlines Presque Isle

Two jets….one tender…and one regional jet…

Judges’ comments: We have to give kudos to the firefighters of Presque Isle in Maine. While the lack of a right-hand tender means our judges can only give a maximum score of 5.0, at least they have tried to counteract the loss by using two jets to greet United Airlines’ new service from the Big Apple. 

Jonny: 3.8; Kerry: 3.7; Marc: 3.9; Nick: 3.6.

Alsie Express Sonderborg to Bornholm 2 July 

Alsie Express Bornholm

Is that a military aircraft or a commercial one?

Judges’ comments: Bornholm is a Danish island and given its diminutive size, it very rarely gets any new route action, especially as presently the airport only has domestic connections to Copenhagen, Billund, Aalborg and now Sonderborg. Unsurprinsgly then, this is the first time we have received an FTWA from the airport and its not a bad first-time effort.

Jonny: 6.9; Kerry: 7.0; Marc: 6.5; Nick: 6.6.

LATAM Airlines Cuzco to Iquitos 2 July 

LATAM Airlines Iquitos

An FTWA as symmetrical as its background…

Judges’ comments: We’re quite impressed with the water salute produced here in Iquitos. The trucks are an equal distance apart, the clouds, trees and apron marking distribution is balanced on either side of the image. The only thing stopping this arch from scoring better is that only the left-hand side of this FTWA has a water curtain. It’s close…second place in fact…but no cigar this week…

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


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