Air New Zealand, the official airline of Middle-earth, unveiled its 777-300 aircraft which became a flying billboard for the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Air New Zealand’s General Manager Marketing and Communications, Mike Tod, says the design is simply stunning. “The hobbit imagery will cover the length of the 73 metre Boeing 777-300ER aircraft - the longest aircraft in our fleet - it will take six days and nearly 400 man-hours to install and at 830 square metres it’s the largest ever graphic to be applied to an aircraft.”
Special guests at the unveiling in Auckland, New Zealand, were amongst the first to see the exterior imagery which depicts characters from the upcoming fantasy adventure The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, a New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM) production, which is the first in a trilogy of films from Kiwi director Sir Peter Jackson.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe says the imagery, which extends the full length of the 73 metre long aircraft, is simply stunning. “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 (NZT).
“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.
“We are thrilled to see so many international visitors booked to travel to Wellington for the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; we want them to experience the magic of Middle-earth as soon as they set foot on this aircraft.”
Air New Zealand is also looking forward to having the film-inspired 777-300 make a brief spectacular appearance at the red carpet event in Wellington, just prior to the premiere on 28 November.
Mr Fyfe says, “It will be fantastic to show this spectacular aircraft off to a global audience at what is certain to be one of the most highly-anticipated movie events of the year.”
Sue Kroll, Warner Bros. Pictures’ President, Worldwide Marketing, says Air New Zealand’s involvement is unique.
“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.”
Sir Peter Jackson, the director of The Hobbit trilogy, says, “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.”
Air New Zealand will launch a second flying billboard next year utilising another of its long haul aircraft to celebrate the second movie in the trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.