North America claims first victory in 2019 Arch of Triumph competition

This week saw a big boost in Arch of Triumph entries from North America, with the region supplying four water arch salutes. This means North America (five FTWAs in total) is now just one behind Asia (six) for total entries received this year. Europe has supplied three entries so far and South America one. Africa, Australasia, the Caribbean and the Middle East are yet to get off the mark in 2019. With a range of entries celebrating new American Airlines routes this week, read on to find out which US airport claimed the win. Keep Monitoring!!

Alaska Airlines Everett Paine Field to Portland 4 March

Everett Paine Field is more used to Boeing aircraft, but this Embraer received an impressive salute…

Judges’ Comments: As home to a Boeing factory, Everett Paine Field is more used to aircraft hand-over ceremonies than route launch celebrations, but the airport’s fire service put on a fine display to mark the beginning of commercial services by Alaska Airlines. The Seattle-Tacoma-based carrier launched links to Las Vegas, Phoenix and Portland on 4 March, with the send-off for the latter connection taking the honours in this week’s FTWA contest.

Jonny: 9.2; Kerry: 8.8; Paul: 8.8; Nick: 8.9.

Laudamotion Stuttgart to Budapest 27 February 

Laudamotion Budapest

Hungary for FTWA success in Budapest…

Judges’ Comments: Laudamotion began based operations from Stuttgart this week, with one of its seven new links being a twice-weekly service to Budapest. The Hungarian airport put on a good show in welcoming the inaugural flight, but the mist effect slightly spoils the shape of the arch here.

Jonny: 6.8; Kerry: 7.0; Paul: 6.9; Nick: 6.9.

JetBlue Airways Fort Lauderdale to Guayaquil 28 February 

JetBlue Airways

Another Fort Lauderdale link for Guayaquil…

Judges’ Comments: This is the first Arch of Triumph entry we have seen from Guayaquil since last March, and that was also for a new service from Fort Lauderdale, on that occasion with Spirit Airlines. JetBlue Airways is the third airline to operate this airport pair. A nice night time shot here, with just a little too much jet power from both fire tenders.

Jonny: 7.6; Kerry: 7.7; Paul: 7.9; Nick: 7.8.

American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth to Bakersfield 3 March 

American Airlines Bakersfield

Impressive action shot from the taxiway, but it’s a bit too close for our liking…

Judges’ Comments: This is the first of three FTWAs received for new American Airlines route inaugurations this week. Although the judges commend the all-action approach from this photographer, they have gotten a little too close to the subject here, which means we can’t see either fire truck. It also means we can’t fully appreciate the symmetry of the arch.

Jonny: 3.5; Kerry: 3.5; Paul: 3.6; Nick: 3.4.

American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth to Gainesville 3 March 

American Airlines Gainesville

And now for the opposite effect. Squint and you might spot the arrival from Dallas…

Judges’ Comments: According to our detailed records, this is the first time has received an FTWA entry from Gainesville. It’s not a bad first effort either, although the right-hand fire tender could do with applying more power to its water jet, then it would have been good to get a bit closer to the action…

Jonny: 5.8; Kerry: 5.6; Paul: 5.7; Nick: 5.9.

American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth to Yuma 3 March 

American Airlines Yuma

Just right! It’s third time lucky with a perfectly positioned shot for American Airlines…

Judges’ Comments: The third time’s a charm for our American Airlines entries this week, with this super effort from Yuma. Nice positioning for the photo and a fine symmetry to the arch. Regional aircraft feature in one-third of all FTWA entries received so far in 2019, with narrow-bodies accounting for the other two-thirds. We are yet to see an FTWA in 2019 featuring turboprop or wide-body aircraft though…

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

Nouvelair Tunisie Tunis to Istanbul Atatürk 3 March 


Atmospheric night time welcome in Istanbul…

Judges’ Comments: Nouvelair Tunisie received a fine welcome in Istanbul with this night time salute from the Atatürk fire department. Full service carriers now account for two-thirds of all of the FTWA entries received this year, with LCCs making up the final third. We are still waiting to see our first water arch salutes featuring a leisure carrier or independent regional operator.

Jonny: 8.0; Kerry: 7.9; Paul: 8.2; Nick: 8.0.


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