MNN Galleries

10 airliners with creative paint jobs

By: Josh Lew on Sept. 16, 2015, 3:37 p.m.
An Air New Zealand aircraft with a mural based on "The Hobbit" film franchise

Photo: Simon_sees/flickr

3 of 12

Air New Zealand's 'Hobbit' plane

ANZ's "Hobbit" Plane made its debut in 2012, just before the first of the three "Hobbit" movies premiered. It served routes between Auckland, London and Los Angeles. The mural-like artwork painted on the side of the Boeing 777 stretched about 240 feet. The airline, New Zealand's flag carrier, pulled out all the stops to celebrate the movies' releases. There was even a safety video featuring characters from Middle Earth.

Most people got their first glimpse of Smaug the dragon in 2013 when ANZ unveiled a Smaug plane just before the second film's premiere. The "Lord of the Rings" and "Hobbit" trilogies, both of which were filmed on the island nation, have been a boon for tourism in New Zealand. The country has used this notoriety to grow its tourism industry, even offering Middle Earth-themed tours to places seen in the films.