The Hobbit‘s ‘Smaug’ Checks In for Flight

Air New Zealand plane to take famed dragon from Peter Jackson's latest film to the skies

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Air New Zealand crew members Maxence Cherri, left, Priyanka Girish, right, and captain David Morgan, center, stand in front of a plane with an image of the dragon Smaug from Peter Jackson's Hobbit trilogy, on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013, in Auckland, New Zealand.

With Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug set to hit theatres later this month, Air New Zealand is ready to take the fabled creature high into the skies.

On Monday, the airline unveiled one of their fleet outfitted with a 177-ft decal of Smaug. According to a report in the Associated Press, the plane is set to land in Los Angeles in time for the premiere of the second installment in the three-part series.

As with his previous epic adaptation of the Lord of the Rings, Jackson shot the Hobbit trilogy in his native New Zealand, which has seen a significant boost in tourism thanks to his landscape-rich cinematography.