Air New Zealand unveiled its latest flying billboard on Saturday - a Boeing 777-300 covered in an enormous decal featuring The Hobbit characters.
Chief executive Rob Fyfe, at a function at the airline's Auckland technical operations base, paid tribute to the special project team that had worked hard "getting the plane looking as spectacular as it does".
It took the team 400 hours to install the graphic, which at 830sq m is the largest ever applied to an aircraft.
The 73m Boeing, the longest in the airline's fleet, is now off to London via Los Angeles, returning in time to play a "starring role" in the global premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in Wellington on Wednesday.
Mr Fyfe said the effort and passion that had gone into the aircraft reflected "a real sense of connection that we have with the magical world of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit". The airline has dubbed itself the "Airline of Middle Earth".
He said another Hobbit-inspired 777 would be unveiled in November next year ahead of the second Hobbit movie.