Girma Wake, chief executive of African Boeing 787 launch customer Ethiopian Airlines, says the airline is due to take the first of its 10 787s in July 2010.
In addition, Wake says the airline is negotiating with Airbus and Boeing for 250- to 350-seaters. He is aiming to place an order within three months for around 15 aircraft.
In the frame are the Airbus A350-900 and Boeing 777-200LR. The 787-9 may be a consideration, but Wake says he is "not sure yet" that it will be suitable for operations from Addis Ababa, at 7,540ft (2,300m).