Air China (Beijing) and Air New Zealand (Auckland) have today (November 21) signed a Statement of Intent that will pave the way for a strategic alliance on services betweenChina and New Zealand.
The proposed alliance between the two national flag carriers and Star Alliance partners would see Air China operate a new direct Beijing – Auckland service in addition to Air New Zealand’s existing Shanghai – Auckland service. The alliance remains subject to regulatory approval.
Following today’s signing the airlines will progress discussions with a view to reaching an agreement early next year which can then be filed for regulatory approval.
Top Copyright Photo: James Helbock/AirlinersGallery.com. Air China’s Boeing 777-39L ER B-2035 (msn 38674) in the special Smiling China livery approaches the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Air China aircraft slide show:
Air New Zealand aircraft slide show:
Bottom Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Air New Zealand’s Boeing 777-319 ER ZK-OKS (msn 44547) also arrives in Los Angeles.
Air New Zealand (Auckland) is showcasing its Boeing 777-300 Premium Economy Spaceseat™ and Economy Skycouch™ to the public in the San Francisco area in an usual way – via a moving glass side truck. The airline issued this statement:
Air New Zealand is inviting Bay Area travelers to put its Boeing 777-300 Premium Economy Spaceseat™ and Economy Skycouch™ to the test as the airline takes its revolutionary seats on the road for the #AirNZ777300 tour.
The seats which are now available on the airline’s nonstop service between San Francisco and Auckland, will hit the road, touring San Jose and San Francisco in a glass sided truck to give customers a taste of what they can expect when traveling to New Zealand and Australia (via Auckland) on Air New Zealand:
Premium Economy Spaceseat™ – really stretch out and relax: Passengers can enjoy a cocoon of comfort and privacy that is unique to Air New Zealand’s Premium Economy Spaceseat™. The extra space and luxury the state-of-the-art Spaceseat™ provides ensures the journey is a relaxing experience.
Economy Skycouch™ – feel the freedom: A cleverly designed row of three Economy seats that transform to create a flat, flexible space providing a generous surface for children to play or for adults to rest and relax.
The Air New Zealand Bay Area Truck Tour runs through October 10th and will make stops at the following locations (subject to change).
October 4th – San Jose’s Santana Row (8 a.m. – 8 p.m.)
October 5th – San Jose’s Santana Row (8 a.m. – 8 p.m.)
October 6th – San Pedro Square Marketplace – San Jose (8 a.m. – 6 p.m.)
October 7th – San Francisco: Fillmore & California Streets (throughout the day) – Fillmore Art & Wine Festival (6 – 9 p.m.)
October 8th – Downtown San Francisco –SoMa StrEat Food Park (10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.) & Embarcadero Center (8 – 9:45 a.m. & 3:15 – 6 p.m.)
October 9th – San Francisco: Union & Fillmore Streets (throughout the day) – Union Street Wine Walk (6 – 9 p.m.)
October 10th – Downtown San Francisco – Embarcadero Center (8 a.m. – 2 p.m.) & “Off the Grid” at Fort Mason (5 – 10 p.m.)
Fans are encouraged to join the social conversation using the hashtag #AirNZ777300. Throughout the tour, fans that spot the truck and share Tweets, messages and photos with Twitter @AIRNZUSA, Instagram @AirNZ or Facebook @AirNewZealand and use the hashtag #AirNZ777300 will have a chance to win “surprise and delight” Air New Zealand swag. Visitors to the truck at any of its public stops will be eligible to win daily prizes on the spot! An online sweepstakes for two Economy round-trip tickets from San Francisco to New Zealand or Australia will be awarded to one lucky winner in an online contest at: http://www.airnewzealand.com/sfo.
Top Photo: Scott Riegelhaupt-Herzig via Air New Zealand. The moving showcase stops at the San Pedro Market Square.
Air New Zealand:
Bottom Copyright Photo: Colin Hunter/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-319 ER ZK-OKR (msn 44546) sports the new white version of the 2013 fern livery at Auckland.
Air New Zealand (Auckland), the official airline of Middle-earth, is giving fans a sneak peek at its next inflight safety video, an epic tale which will conclude the airline’s highly successful three year association with The Hobbit Trilogy.
The video will celebrate the third and final film in The Hobbit Trilogy – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and the airline’s partnership with the film franchise and feature cameo appearances from director Sir Peter Jackson, Weta Workshop co-founder Sir Richard Taylor and cast members of the films.
The yet to be titled safety video was shooting this week amidst dramatic Central Otago, New Zealand scenery under the direction of Taika Waititi of Boy and What we do in the Shadows fame. Taika Waititi will also make a special cameo appearance as ‘The Wizard’.
Air New Zealand Chief Marketing and Customer Officer Mike Tod says the video will be a real celebration of Middle-earth and all that it has to offer.
“Air New Zealand has been the official airline of Middle-earth for more than a decade now and we want to mark the final film in The Hobbit Trilogy in a very special way. This video brings together iconic New Zealand film locations with some of the famous faces and Taika Waititi’s signature directing style. We can’t wait to unveil it on board later this year,” says Mr Tod.
Air New Zealand has invested several million dollars into global marketing campaigns and initiatives to celebrate the Hobbit films and attract visitors to New Zealand including branding two Boeing 777-300 long haul aircraft with Hobbit imagery (see below).
Above Copyright Photo: Wingnut/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-319 ER ZK-OKO (msn 38407) displays the image of Smaug, the dragon, as it departs the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.
Above Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-319 ER ZK-OKP (msn 39041) was the first ANZ Triple Seven in the special “The Airline of Middle Earth – The Hobbit” livery.
The airline’s latest safety video follows on from the highly successful An Unexpected Briefing released in 2012 which has become a global hit, with more than 12 million views online (see below).
Above Video: Air New Zealand.
The new safety video is expected to be rolled out across the airline’s fleet from late October 2014.
Top Copyright Photo: Air New Zealand. Safety video director Taika Waititi is pictured on the set. An Orc tests out Air New Zealand’s new Premium Economy seat.
Air New Zealand:
Below Video: How Air New Zealand does social (one of most successful uses of social media by any airline):
Air New Zealand (Auckland) has done it again. The champion of promotion today launched it latest Hobbit-theme aircraft, this time with Smaug, the dragon, emblazoned on Boeing 777-319 ER ZK-OKO (msn 38407) (above) now flying to Los Angeles for the movie premier.
The airline issued this statement:
The Official Airline of Middle-earth today announced the key elements of its global marketing campaign two weeks ahead of the premiere of the second film in The Hobbit Trilogy, which is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.
A key feature of the airline’s campaign, titled Middle-earth is closer than you think, is a competition to give three Hobbit movie fans from around the world the money-can’t-buy opportunity to attend the world premiere movie screening with a friend. A fourth lucky entrant will win a once-in-a-life-time Middle-earth experience for two in New Zealand.
The video Just Another Day in Middle-earth stars Air New Zealand flight attendants, pilots, aircraft engineers, an aircraft marshall, baggage handlers and airport staff as themselves, with a cheeky film-inspired twist, and more than 120 extras. It aims to inspire travellers from around the world to take their own unexpected journey – with the key message ‘Middle-earth is closer than you think’.
The video also features Kiwi Dean O’Gorman, who plays dwarf Fili, and the voice of Sylvester McCoy, The Hobbit Trilogy’s Radagast the Brown.
Dean O’Gorman says the video captures both the magic of The Hobbit films and the unique personality of Air New Zealand.
“The cast and crew have been travelling to New Zealand so much over the past few years the airline’s become like a second home to some of them and they just love the uniquely Kiwi service. It was great to be involved in this video and see so many Air New Zealand staff having a bit of fun with all the Hobbit film references.”
Viewers of the video from around the world can enter for their chance to win one of four trips of a lifetime for two to their choice of either Middle-earth (New Zealand) or to the premiere of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in Los Angeles, including airfares, accommodation and rental car.
Another feature of the Air New Zealand marketing campaign will be the unveiling of a Boeing 777-300 aircraft in special Hobbit film-inspired livery on December 2 in Auckland (see above). The flying billboard will leave that night for Los Angeles where it will touch down in time for the The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug premiere.
Head of Global Brand Development Jodi Williams says there is a common perception that New Zealand is tucked away at the bottom of the earth and the perceived distance barrier stops some travellers considering the country as a destination.
“For travellers from the majority of Air New Zealand’s long haul destinations, including Shanghai, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Hong Kong and Tokyo, Middle-earth is just a sleep away.”
Tourism New Zealand figures from last year’s marketing activity around The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey show 82 percent of international survey respondents stated the campaign increased their interest in New Zealand. 8.5 percent of international visitors to New Zealand during January-March this year said The Hobbit Trilogy was a factor in stimulating their interest in New Zealand and one percent said it was the most important factor.
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson, director of “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy, comes “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf the Grey, with Martin Freeman in the central role of Bilbo Baggins, and Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield. The international ensemble cast is led by Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, and Orlando Bloom as Legolas. The film also stars Mikael Persbrandt, Sylvester McCoy, Aidan Turner, Dean O’Gorman, Graham McTavish, Adam Brown, Peter Hambleton, John Callen, Mark Hadlow, Jed Brophy, William Kircher, Stephen Hunter, Ryan Gage, John Bell, Manu Bennett and Lawrence Makoare.
The screenplay for “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” is by Fran Walsh & Philippa Boyens & Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, based on the novel by J.R.R. Tolkien. Jackson also produced the film, together with Carolynne Cunningham, Zane Weiner and Fran Walsh. The executive producers are Alan Horn, Toby Emmerich, Ken Kamins and Carolyn Blackwood, with Philippa Boyens and Eileen Moran serving as co-producers.
New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Present a Wingnut Films Production, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” The film is a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM), with New Line managing production. Warner Bros. Pictures is handling worldwide theatrical distribution, with select international territories as well as all international television distribution being handled by MGM. www.thehobbit.com
Copyright Photos: Air New Zealand.
Air New Zealand (see the other special theme aircraft):