Northwest

(NWAC)

is reportedly in final talks to order as many as 18

Boeing

(BA) - Get Report

i787 Dreamliners.

The sale would mark another victory for Boeing as it tries to wrest back leadership in the world market for commercial planes from rival

Airbus

, a joint venture of the European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. and

BAE Systems

.

The deal would have a list-price value of about $2.1 billion, according to a report in

The Wall Street Journal

, which cited people familiar with the situation.

A Northwest spokesman declined to confirm the report. "We continue to speak with aircraft manufacturers about their product offerings," he said.

A Boeing spokesman also declined to comment.

Although it failed to meet its target for 200 Dreamliner orders by the end of last year, Boeing recently has notched a series of orders for the plane, including a

10-jet order from Korean Air announced Monday. Including that deal, Boeing now has orders and commitments from 17 customers for 203 Dreamliners.

Boeing is using light, composite materials for the 787, which will help the plane consume 20% less fuel than current jets of comparable size. That makes it attractive to airlines, which are struggling with near-record fuel costs. Targeted at the middle of the commercial jet market, the 787 will seat between 200 and 300 passengers and make medium- to long-range flights.

Rival Airbus' shareholders late last year gave the go-ahead for a direct competitor to the 787, although the company has yet to officially announce development of the plane, which is named the A350 and based on the existing A330 model.