Air Berlin Orders 60 Boeing 737s

German budget carrier Air Berlin said Tuesday it is ordering 60 new Boeing 737 jets worth $5.7 billion at list prices as it works to secure its future growth.

Air Berlin, Germany's second-biggest airline after Lufthansa, recently acquired German rival dba to expand its domestic business. The company said it was ordering the new aircraft to keep up with European competitors.

"By awarding this large contract, we are securing a favorable delivery price for the long term," CEO Joachim Hunold said in a statement. "The new planes are meant to replace expiring leasing contracts and to secure future growth."

Air Berlin did not specify how much it would pay. However, the company noted that its acquisition of dba also included a purchase agreement for a further 25 Boeing 737s.

The company expects the 85 planes to be delivered between 2007 and 2014 and put the total list price at $5.7 billion.

Air Berlin currently has 62 planes in its fleet, while dba has 29.

Also on Tuesday, Air Berlin said third-quarter net profit rose 27 percent to 38.7 million euros ($50.8 million) from 30.6 million euros in the same period a year earlier. It included dba in its accounts starting in September.

Sales rose 28 percent to 510 million euros ($670 million).


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