As part of the two-year partnership, passengers to and from the UK and North America can look forward to flying on two film-branded Boeing 777 aircraft, enjoy a very special edition of the inflight safety video and take part in a wide range of upcoming promotions and experiences.

Air New Zealand General Manager Marketing and Communications, Mike Tod, said, “We are excited at the prospect of so many international visitors travelling to Wellington for the 28 November 2012 world premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

“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.

“Similarly, we will be putting millions of dollars of marketing behind the two films based on The Hobbit to promote New Zealand in new and innovative ways across the globe.”

Mr Tod confirmed Air New Zealand is working with Weta Workshop to turn a Boeing 777-300 into a flying billboard for the first movie and a Boeing 777-200 for the second movie, and will soon commence filming of a new inflight safety video.

“The use of social media has grown exponentially since The Lord of the Rings trilogy and will play a big part in the way we’ll be connecting fans with both The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again and destination Middle-earth over the coming two years, including a series of exclusive competitions and unique fan opportunities,” says Mr Tod.

Sue Kroll, Warner Bros. Pictures’ President, Worldwide Marketing, says Air New Zealand’s involvement is unique.

“Just as Peter Jackson is able to transport audiences to the magical world of Middle-earth, Air New Zealand brings people to the breathtaking landscape that has been home to these epic productions. The promotions planned by Air New Zealand in support of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again are both eye-catching and innovative and we look forward to collaborating with them on the campaigns for both films.”

Ends

Air New Zealand, Hobbit ears.

About The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the first of two films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. The second film will be “The Hobbit: There and Back Again.” The screenplay for “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” - a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) - is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro. Jackson is also producing the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh.  Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television licensing, being handled by MGM.

Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 21 747 320