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German airline Lufthansa says 'Guten Tag' to RDU with Frankfurt flight

Lufthansa aircrafts are parked at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, Friday, Sept.2, 2022. German news agency dpa says Lufthansa’s operations have been disrupted at Frankfurt airport because of technical problems, the dpa news agency reported Sunday, March 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, File)
Michael Probst
Lufthansa aircrafts are parked at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, Friday, Sept. 2, 2022.

Lufthansa will offer flights between Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Frankfurt next year. RDU officials and an executive from the German airline announced the new route Tuesday morning.

Beginning June 6, Lufthansa will fly between Raleigh-Durham and Frankfurt five times a week on an Airbus A330 aircraft.

Airport CEO Michael Landguth stressed the new connection isn’t just for people flying to Germany. “It provides us connectivity into Africa into the Middle East and into India,” he said. Frankfurt is Germany’s busiest airport, handing more than 65 million passengers per year.

RDU had been working for years to get the flight, though that effort was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Landguth said. A coalition of 11 universities and businesses, including UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, Elon, BASF and Wolfspeed, agreed to offer financial support.

“Airlines are looking for a commitment from the community because they know that those 11 companies and businesses will help promote that in the community and make it successful at the end of the day,” Landguth said.

RDU also extended its own incentives, such as waivers on airport landing fees, which are part of a program to lure new destinations and carriers. The airport used a similar approach to attract Icelandair, which began flying from Raleigh-Durham last year.

Lufthansa will be RDU’s 16th airline and Frankfurt will be its eighth international destination. The airport has added 21 new destinations this year.

Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.
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