Air New Zealand Unveils Flying Billboard

The official airline of Middle-earth launches its second film-inspired plane By: Cody Geib
Cast members, film executives and travel representatives attended the Air New Zealand event at LAX. // © 2013 Cody Geib
Cast members, film executives and travel representatives attended the Air New Zealand event at LAX. // © 2013 Cody Geib

Hours before the premiere of the newest film in “The Hobbit” trilogy in Hollywood, Calif., Air New Zealand revealed its latest Hobbit-inspired plane at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Dec. 2. The Boeing 777-300 sports a 177-foot decal of the dragon Smaug from “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.”

The event featured speeches from Christopher Luxon, CEO of Air New Zealand; Chris Tremain, New Zealand’s associate minister of tourism; and Blair Rich, Warner Brothers’ executive vice president of marketing. They emphasized the partnership between the production company, the airline and the New Zealand government to use the buzz around “The Hobbit” movies to showcase New Zealand as one of the world’s premier destinations for business and leisure travel.

“We’re trying to ensure that we can get Americans to visit us as their next destination,” Luxon said. “If wanting to see and experience Middle-earth is a way you might come and visit us, then we fully encourage that.”

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