Airline to Middle-earth Scores a Hat-Trick

LOS ANGELES—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Nov. 17, 2003—On Monday, November 17, Air New Zealand, Airline to Middle-earth, will unveil its latest “The Lord of the Rings”-themed aircraft as it steps up its worldwide campaign to harness the tourism power of the motion picture trilogy.
With the New Zealand world premiere of the final installment of the trilogy, “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King,” just over two weeks away, the airline will roll out its third themed aircraft to take the Middle-earth message around the world at Los Angeles International Airport.
The stunning design, which stretches 157 feet along the giant Boeing 747-400 fuselage, depicts the faces of stars Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn) and Orlando Bloom (Legolas) as part of the giant decal, and covers an area of 956 square yards.
The third aircraft, which arrives in Los Angeles Monday, November 17, signals the start of an intensive Air New Zealand global marketing campaign to capitalize on the motion picture trilogy`s huge profile.
This intensive four-month campaign will build on an existing marketing platform created through the airline`s two-year promotional partnership with New Line Cinema, the makers of the motion picture trilogy, and initial work carried out in key markets around the world in connection with the second installment, “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.”
Air New Zealand`s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Ralph Norris said:
“As the largest private sector promoter of New Zealand tourism, our investment in `The Lord of the Rings` promotion is unequalled. The final installment of this motion picture trilogy offers unparalleled opportunities for us through massive media and consumer interest in the film to lift the profile of New Zealand—both as Middle-earth and also as a remarkable destination for today`s travelers.”
Research figures from Tourism New Zealand conducted amongst international visitors to New Zealand earlier this year show that almost one in 10 was influenced by “The Lord of the Rings” motion pictures, citing the trilogy as one of the reasons they chose to visit New Zealand.
The third themed aircraft joins two others, launched for the second installment of the motion picture trilogy—a Boeing 747-400 carrying the faces of Hobbits Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam Gamgee (Sean Astin) and a Boeing 767-300 with Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Arwen (Liv Tyler.) These aircraft have already flown the equivalent of 250 times around the globe displaying their giant billboards.
A fourth “Lord of the Rings” aircraft will be unveiled shortly to complete the specially themed fleet that will take the Middle-earth message around the Air New Zealand network. This will be an A320 aircraft that will only fly between New Zealand and Australia.
(C) MMIII New Line Productions, Inc. The Lord of the Rings, and the names of the characters, events, items and places therein, are trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises under license to New Line Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The Aragorn/Legolas Boeing 747 aircraft will fly into Los Angeles International Airport at 7:15 a.m. Monday, November 17. It will be parked at Gate 27 at Terminal 2. Due to TSA and FAA security requirements at LAX and the positioning of the aircraft, visibility will be limited from the departure level sidewalk between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. However electronic and broadcast images will be available.