Air New Zealand Unveils “Hobbit” Plane

Air New Zealand – the airline of Middle Earth – has unveiled a Boeing 777-300ER “Hobbit Plane” which will perform standard revenue service while doubling as a flying billboard for the new movie The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey.  The Hobbit plane stopped at LAX where I was able to catch up with it, prior to continuing on to London Heathrow.  This flight is the first of regularly-scheduled service between those two airports.

 The image applied to ZK-OKP is a collection of 370 stickers which took six days and 400 man-hours to apply.  According to Air New Zealand, this is the largest application to an aircraft at nearly 240 feet long.  The images cover just short of 9,000 square feet along the length of the fuselage on both sides.

 The Hobbit trilogy movies, as well as the Lord of the Rings series, have been filmed in New Zealand.  The success of these movies will be important to New Zealand’s tourism industry in the coming years and Air New Zealand is doing their fair share to remind people on commercial flights.  Air New Zealand also launched a Hobbit-themed safety video for the B777-300ER aircraft; the video can be found online should such a flight not be in the immediate future.

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