To celebrate its status as the official airline of Middle-earth, Air New Zealand has unveiled a special 777-300 aircraft decorated with characters from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel The Hobbit, the film kicks off a new cinema trilogy from director Sir Peter Jackson, New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM).
Unveiling the plane, Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe said: “This aircraft is going to excite passengers and fans of Sir Peter Jackson’s award-winning cinema fantasies alike when it begins regular Air New Zealand services between Auckland, Los Angeles and London from this evening.
“New Zealand is the home of Middle-earth and The Hobbit movies will be hugely important to New Zealand’s tourism industry in the next couple of years as international tourists are inspired to come and see and experience for themselves the landscapes which have shaped the movies.”
The plane will make a brief appearance at the red carpet event in Wellington, just prior to the premiere on 28 November.
Sir Peter added, “It’s wonderful to see such a stunning image to celebrate The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey on one of Air New Zealand’s largest international aircraft.
“It’s a unique representation of the innovation and creativity of New Zealanders and a great opportunity to show off the incomparably beautiful landscape of this country.”
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will be followed by The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug on December 13 2013 and The Hobbit: There and Back Again on July 18 2014.
A second plane will be launched next year to celebrate The Desolation of Smaug.