Hobbit's Smaug debuts on Air NZ plane
Hobbit fans can finally see the most-anticipated character in the movie trilogy, the dragon Smaug.
While Smaug has previously been glimpsed in part, his full body has never been revealed.
Ahead of the premiere of the second part of the Hobbit trilogy, The Desolation of Smaug, Air New Zealand this morning unveiled a 54-metre long image of the dragon on the sides of a Boeing 777-300.
Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon said the airline had worked with Weta Digital "to reveal their star to the world".
For the last premiere, the airline created another Hobbit-themed plane that carried stars to the Wellington premiere.
Director Sir Peter Jackson said he was proud to debut Smaug in New Zealand.
"To see Smaug fly off the big screen and into the skies like this is pretty exciting," he said.
The plane will fly to Los Angeles this evening, arriving in time for the premiere tomorrow.
Over the weekend, a giant eagle - a character from The Hobbit - was unveiled in the Wellington Airport terminal, alongside the character Gollum which was put up a year ago for the first premiere.
A further addition will be added at the airport today.