Air NZ's Hobbit plane in all its glory

Air New Zealand lifted the lid on its Hobbit-themed plane over the weekend ahead of the movie's global premiere in Wellington this Wednesday, decked out with scenes and characters from the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

The long-haul Hobbit-wrapped aircraft is operating flights between Auckland, Los Angeles and London, and the 73-metre 777-300 will apparently make an appearance on the red carpet ahead of the premiere as well. Plus, Air New Zealand will be launching a second flying billboard next year to celebrate the second movie in the trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

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Hobbit director Sir Peter Jackson said: “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.”

And Sue Kroll, Warner Bros Pictures' president of worldwide marketing, had this to add: “Air New Zealand has already proven their creativity and innovation with their delightful Middle-earth-inspired safety video, and now this extraordinary aircraft wrap. We look forward to continuing to work with them in support of the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in the months ahead.”

Air New Zealand also recently released its latest in-flight safety video by Weta Workshop starring cast and crew members from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, as well as fans and Air New Zealand’s own cabin crew and pilots. It has already racked up  almost 10 million views on YouTube.

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