ST. LOUIS – Get ready for take-off, St. Louis, as there will be nonstop flights to continental Europe from St. Louis Lambert International Airport starting next summer.

It was announced Tuesday in a press release that Lufthansa Airlines will schedule three nonstop flights per week from St. Louis to Frankfurt, Germany beginning in June 2022. Tickets can now be purchased online where travelers can choose from business, premium economy, and economy seating.

“With the 2022 summer flight schedule, the airlines of the Lufthansa Group will offer a total of 280 destinations worldwide with around 9,000 weekly connections,” the press release states.

“Our mission is to connect people, cultures, and economies, sustainably, and the launch of service from St. Louis is the best example of our commitment to this mission. The United States is our most important market outside of our European home markets and we are thrilled to commence service in this vibrant market, linking it to the Frankfurt hub, as we expand our network of gateways in the United States, connecting even more markets than before the pandemic,” said Frank Naeve, vice president of Sales, Lufthansa Group Passenger Airlines for the Americas.

Naeve told FOX 2’s Patrick Clark that the airline will transport passengers as well as cargo on the new routes.

“The aircraft we operate on the main deck you have all the seats, but on the lower deck, you have space for cargo. Obviously transporting passengers is what we do, but also transporting high-quality goods and making contributions to supply chains,” said Naeve.

This was a team effort by Greater St. Louis, Inc., the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, World Trade Center St. Louis, and St. Louis Lambert International Airport, regional businesses, civic and government leaders.  

Codenamed “Project Mark,” the nonstop flight service had been in the works for almost two years, with a push from businesses like Bayer and Enterprise Holdings Inc.

“This is exactly the type of win we can secure for St. Louis when we work together and speak with one voice around a common objective,” said Andrew C. Taylor, executive chairman of Enterprise Holdings Inc. and Founding Chair of Greater St. Louis, Inc.

“By working with Lufthansa and bringing our regional partners together, we are now able to connect St. Louis directly to the world. This is a major step forward for our region’s critical transportation infrastructure necessary to advance the goals of the STL 2030 Jobs Plan.”

The nonstop flights are predicted to add between $50 million to $100 million per year to a region’s economy, according to the press release.

“Many of our St. Louis businesses have an international reach so a direct connection to Europe is a critical step to growing our region and making it easier to do business here,” County Executive Dr. Sam Page said. “This is a great moment for our region, and I look forward to building off this exciting announcement to attract new business and industry.”

It has been almost 20 years since St. Louis has offered nonstop flights to continental Europe. The last nonstop flight was on TWA to Charles De Gaulle Airport in Paris in September 2001, according to the press release.

“For the first time in nearly two decades, St. Louis will have a direct flight to continental Europe, helping put our city back on the map,” Mayor Tishaura O. Jones said.

“As the economic engine of our region with top-tier health systems, world-class universities, and a thriving arts scene, St. Louis has so much to offer to the international community. I appreciate the collaboration of those across our region, including our business community, County Executive Sam Page, Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Port Authority Chairman John Maupin, and so many others to strengthen our airport and our economy with this new direct route.”