Air NZ becomes 'official airline of Middle Earth'

Air New Zealand has signed a two-film deal with New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn Mayer that will involve the airline rolling out Hobbit-branded aircraft.

Air New Zealand: hostess sports pointy ears to promote airline's Hobbit film tie-in
Air New Zealand: hostess sports pointy ears to promote airline's Hobbit film tie-in

The carrier, which has dubbed itself "the official airline of Middle Earth," said it will throw millions of dollars of marketing spend behind the two films based on 'The Hobbit', to promote Air New Zealand globally.

The airline's initial marketing activity for the deal will include two Hobbit-branded Boeing 777 airliners that will act as "flying billboards" on routes between the UK and North America, and a new passenger safety video, adding to the carrier's existing set of quirky in-flight videos.

The activity will be supported by upcoming promotions and experiences and competitions, which can be entered via Air New Zealand's social media channels.

Air New Zealand had a similar partnership for 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, cashing in on the production's international fan base who came to the country to visit the film version's setting for Middle Earth.

Mike Tod, general manager, marketing at Air New Zealand, said: "New Zealand is clearly established as the home of Middle Earth and Air New Zealand will bring the magic to life for travellers.

"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."

JRR Tolkien's prequel to 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, 'The Hobbit', has been adapted into two new films.

'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey' and 'The Hobbit: There and Back Again' are directed by Peter Jackson and the former is set to be released in December this year.

Follow Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith on Twitter @loullamae_es

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