"Gollum on the New Zealand flag perhaps? Enough already!"Featured comment
Ahead of The Hobbit's global premiere in Wellington this Wednesday, Air New Zealand has unveiled a plane decked out as a flying billboard.
The 777-300ER "Hobbit plane" was revealed to media this morning.
It features a 73-metre canvas that Air New Zealand says is the largest ever applied to an aircraft. It took six days and 400 man hours to apply.
Departing Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe and Warner Bros senior vice president for worldwide promotions Gene Garlock oversaw the unveiling.
"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," Mr Fyfe said.
The "Hobbit plane" was scheduled to depart for London via Los Angeles after its unveiling this morning, returning to New Zealand in time for Wednesday's premiere.
Air New Zealand has already been heavily involved in promotion for the taxpayer-supported trilogy with a Hobbit-themed safety video launched November 1.
The clip has already clocked more than nine million views.
Click any image to zoom: