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