Ethiopian Airlines names Dreamliner after Taj Mahal

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Addis Ababa, 22 July 2014 (WIC) - Ethiopian Airlines has named its eighth 787 Dreamliner after the Taj Mahal, India's most famous monument.

It is the first time that the airline has named an aircraft of its Dreamliner fleet after a historical or heritage site outside Africa, and it is a clear recognition of the substantial traffic generated on its routes to the Indian subcontinent.

It will strengthen the already established relations with India as the airline has an increasing number of Indian travelers.

It was to meet the demand from the Indian market that Ethiopian Airlines decided to operate the large bodied aircraft connecting India to Addis Ababa.

More than 13 million people travel out of India every year and with its large African network, Ethiopian Airlines hopes that it will be in a position to benefit from the growing tourism business from India and from the large numbers of those travelling to and across Africa.

Officials said the airline has already deployed the 787 Dreamliner on flights to India and is now exploring new direct destinations there. Ethiopian currently flies daily to New Delhi and twice a day to Mumbai.

It is now looking at other Indian destinations like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.

Ethiopian Airlines has a code sharing agreement with Air India and is set to start services to the south Indian city of Chennai, which it considers to be a gateway to a larger market.

Ethiopian Airlines has named its previous seven Boeing 787s as Africa First, Lucy, Queen of Sheba, Lake Tana, Walia Ibex and Serengeti, all Ethiopian and African sites.