Billing itself as the “official airline of Middle-earth”, Air New Zealand will turn a pair of its aircraft into flying advertisements for The Hobbit films as it seeks to capitalise on the expected popularity of the The Lord of the Rings prequels.
As part of a two-year partnership with Warner Bros, the airline will repaint a pair of its Boeing 777s in a Hobbit theme. The aircraft, which will fly on routes to the UK and North America, will also include a special edition of the inflight safety video and a wide range of other unspecified but presumably Hobbit-related “promotions and experiences.”
Like The Lord of the Rings films, the two upcoming Hobbit movies were shot in New Zealand by Kiwi director Peter Jackson. The first of the films, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, is due for its world premiere in Wellington on November 28.
“This partnership follows on naturally from the success of Air New Zealand’s relationship with The Lord of the Rings trilogy in raising New Zealand’s profile as an international travel destination,” said Mike Tod, Air New Zealand’s general manager for marketing and communications. “Similarly, we will be putting millions of dollars of marketing behind the two films based on The Hobbit to promote New Zealand in new and innovative ways across the globe.”
Mr Tod said the airline was working with Wets Workshop to turn a 777-300ER into a billboard for the first Hobbit film and would later convert a 777-200ER into a billboard for the second film.