German airline DBA said today it would update and expand its fleet by ordering 40 Boeing 737s for delivery beginning next year.

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BERLIN – German airline DBA said today it would update and expand its fleet by ordering 40 Boeing 737s for delivery beginning next year.

DBA cited good experience with the twin-engine planes from Chicago-based Boeing Co. and said it had been in talks with European competitor Airbus before making the decision.

DBA didn’t give the price it would pay, saying only that the planes’ list price was $54 million each, which would work out to $2.1 billion. But large orders often come with discounts.

The order will include both the 737-700 and the 737-800 models and would help ensure the Munich-based airline’s expansion, which will include a denser network within Germany and flights to Paris beginning in March, board chairman Hans Rudolf Woerhl said in a statement.

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“We want to grow further,” he said. “It is our goal, to be No. 1 in point-to-point traffic within Germany.”

The airline would have lost the know-how that pilots and mechanics have acquired working with the current fleet of 737-300s if it had switched to Airbus, Woehrl said. “Staying with Boeing saved us money,” he said.

Woerhl said the airline wants to add flights from Hamburg and Hanover to Frankfurt, if it can get the landing and takeoff slots.

“These are important routes for business travelers and so far they are monopoly routes with correspondingly higher prices,” he said. “Beyond that, we can now begin to implement our successful concept on European routes too.”

He said growth in Europe would focus on destinations within 11/2 hours’ flying time from Germany.

DBA currently operates a fleet of 29 planes, including 737s and Fokker 100s. Its current network includes flights from Stuttgart, Hanover, Munich, Berlin and other German cities to destinations within Germany and foreign destinations including Nice, Rome, and Moscow.