Flagship Russian carrier Aeroflot, which tendered for long-haul aircraft in July, wants to buy 22 planes worth more than $2.5 billion from Boeing (BA), two leading Russian business dailies reported Tuesday.

Vedomosti quoted sources at Aeroflot as saying that the company had decided in favor of Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Aeroflot Deputy General Director Lev Koshlyakov told Reuters that the company had chosen between Boeing and Airbus.

"If everything goes well, the contract will be signed before the end of March," he said, but declined to elaborate.

Boeing spokesman Randy Harrison confirmed that the Chicago-based aircraft manufacturer has been in talks with Aeroflot "for some time," but declined comment on the status of the negotiations, saying Boeing always leaves any order announcement up to its customers.

Kommersant quoted sources at the company as saying Aeroflot had recently amended the tender and could buy as many as 28 aircraft instead of 22.

Aeroflot's Deputy General Director Igor Desyatnichenko said in October that the company would decide soon on the type of long-haul aircraft it wanted to acquire from 2009: the Boeing 787 or Airbus A350.

State-controlled Aeroflot is updating its fleet. It recently approved the lease of five Airbus A320 airliners, and has said it would also acquire seven A321 aircraft.

Airbus is 80 percent owned by EADS with the balance held by BAE Systems Plc.

Aeroflot also plans to replace its outdated Tu-134 planes with foreign-made used aircraft. Starting from 2008, Aeroflot intends to buy 30 planes used for regional routes.

The government has promised to ease import restrictions on some Boeing and Airbus models after problems on one of Russia's flagship Ilyushin-96-300 passenger planes disrupted a trip by President Vladimir Putin.

Russia in August grounded all Il-96-300 planes for repairs and lifted the ban in October.