German air carrier, Lufthansa, recently announced it will begin offering non-stop flights between Frankfurt, Germany, and St. Louis next summer. What makes the announcement remarkable is that St. Louis’s Lambert International Airport hasn’t offered non-stop service to Europe in nearly 20 years.
“Our mission is to sustainably connect people, cultures, and economies, and the launch of service from St. Louis is the best example of our commitment to this mission,” Frank Naeve, vice president of sales at Lufthansa Group Passenger Airlines for the Americas, said in a statement that Greater St. Louis, Inc. shared with Travel Awaits. “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.”
The announcement is a result of efforts by Greater St. Louis, Inc., the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, World Trade Center St. Louis, and St. Louis Lambert International Airport that brought regional business, civic, and governmental leaders together to work with Lufthansa Airlines.
“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,” Andrew C. Taylor, executive chairman of Enterprise Holdings Inc. and founding chair of Greater St. Louis, Inc., told Travel Awaits. “By working with Lufthansa and bringing our regional partners together, we are now able to connect St. Louis directly to the world.”
A Seemingly Unlikely Alliance
St. Louis is approximately 250 miles from Kansas City, Missouri, and right around 300 miles from both Chicago and Nashville.
Surprisingly, St. Louis is the largest U.S. city without non-stop service to Europe. The last non-stop flight from St. Louis to continental Europe was on TWA to Paris’s Charles de Gaulle Airport, which ended in September 2001. The last non-stop flight to London’s Gatwick Airport was in October 2003 when American Airlines ended that service.
At first glance, you may wonder how much demand there is for air travel from St. Louis to Frankfurt. However, as Simple Flying notes, Frankfurt is the second-largest European destination from St. Louis after London.
St. Louis also has strong business connections with Germany. For instance, Monsanto’s former operations are now the Seeds and Traits unit of Bayer, which is headquartered in Cologne, Germany, about 2 hours north of Frankfurt, a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article points out. The former Sigma-Aldrich chemical company is now part of Merck’s MilliporeSigma life sciences arm, also headquartered in the Frankfurt area. Finally, German seed company KWS has its Gateway Research Center in St. Louis.
“Restoring non-stop international air service helps St. Louis solidify our status as a truly global center of innovation and commerce,” Rodrigo Santos, chief operating officer for Bayer CropScience, a division of Bayer AG, said. “We’re excited to more easily connect with people around the world, especially our Bayer colleagues traveling to and from Europe.”
The New Route
Beginning in June 2022, Lufthansa will offer three non-stop flights per week from St. Louis Lambert International Airport to Frankfurt. The flights will be on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Ticket sales for those flights are on sale now.
There’s also good news for anyone wanting to reach other destinations from Frankfurt.
First, Lufthansa offers flights to more than 155 global destinations from Frankfurt, which is its hub. Secondly, many European cities may easily be reached by train from Frankfurt.
While you’re thinking about it, be sure to read all of our Frankfurt and Germany coverage, including: