Ethiopian Airlines (ET, Addis Ababa) CEO Tewolde Gebremariam says the Star Alliance member could place an order for up to twenty widebody jets during the next quarter. Gebremariam told Addis Ababa's Reporter newspaper that studies of the A350-1000 from Airbus (AIB, Toulouse Blagnac) and the B777X from Boeing (BOE, Chicago O'Hare) began in January with a decision likely to be made by March.

At one point an exclusive Boeing operator, Ethiopian is now awaiting delivery of its first Airbus equipment - fourteen A350-900s - due in early 2017. Ethiopian was to have trialled widebody European aircraft on its first transatlantic flights to Washington Dulles back in 1998 with the 3-year lease of an ex-Gulf Air A340-300. The deal, however, never came into being.

As such, Ethiopian's widebody passenger fleet currently includes nine B767-300(ER)s, six B777-200(LR)s, two B777-300(ER)s, and eleven B787-8s used on flights throughout Africa, Asia, South America, North America, and Europe.