AN Air New Zealand plane covered with images from the soon-to-be released Hobbit film touched down at Heathrow airport yesterday.
It was the first time the companies new 777-300 aircraft had arrived in London.
The Middle Earth branded plane was on a dash around the world to pick up cast and crew for the premier of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which premiers in Wellington on Wednesday.
Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe said:
“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.
“We are thrilled to see so many international visitors booked to travel to Wellington for the world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey; we want them to experience the magic of Middle-earth as soon as they set foot on this aircraft.”
The plane first travelled to Los Angeles before heading onto London, and will take passengers back to New Zealand in time for the premier.
The second film in the Sir Peter Jackson produced series will be released in December 2013, and the third and final installment in July 2014.