Addis Ababa — Ethiopia's national flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines (ET) announced on Saturday it has named its latest airplane Boeing 787-9 in honor of China's capital city, Beijing.
Speaking to Xinhua, ET's Corporate Communications Office said the airline decided to name the airplane after Beijing to emphasize its historical presence in the Chinese aviation market dating back to 1973.
China is the largest national market for Ethiopian Airlines which currently flies to five Chinese destinations: Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Hong Kong and Guangzhou.
It's also mulling starting flights to Shenzhen city, an entrepreneurship and innovation center dubbed China's "Silicon Valley," and to Hangzhou, home to Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
China is the single largest source of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Ethiopia for the last several years, as Ethiopia bids to attract Chinese expertise and money for its industrialization ambitions.
Private investment from China to Ethiopia in 2017, up to September 5, has reached more than 680 million U.S. dollars, outpacing full 2016 figures of 560 million U.S. dollars.
Chinese tourists are also a rising demographics with the East African country attracting 41,660 Chinese tourists in 2015, a trend the Ethiopian government expects to grow in the coming years.