The title character from the upcoming film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug got some star treatment Monday (December 02) as Air New Zealand unveiled a jet plane with its likeness emblazoned on it.

Smaug, a fire-breathing dragon conjured up by Lord of the Rings"author J.R.R. Tolkien for his book The Hobbit, is the main antagonist in the film, directed by Peter Jackson, which premiered worldwide on Monday (December 02). The image is in the form of a decal, which is a giant sticker affixed to the plane.

Jackson was on hand at the red carpet arrival event for the plane, a Boeing 777-300, which arrived in Los Angeles from New Zealand just in time for the Hollywood premiere.

Air New Zealand dubs itself "the official airline of Middle-earth," capitalising on the immense interest in tourism in the South-western Pacific Nation sparked by the filming of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit series there.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be released December 13th.

Presented by Adam Justice