German airline plans first-ever service in Minnesota starting next summer

Minnesotans may have a new travel option starting next summer if things go according to plan.

Tuesday, German airline Lufthansa announced its intention to launch service between Frankfurt (FRA) and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).

The airline is scheduled to begin the year-round route on June 4, 2024, and would make Lufthansa the 18th airline operating at MSP and the airport’s first new trans-Atlantic carrier in over four years.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Lufthansa and the airline’s stellar reputation as a premium global carrier,” Brian Ryks, CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC), which owns and operates MSP, said. “It’s exciting to see this new service that will support the increased year-round demand for air travel from Minnesota and the upper Midwest to Europe and other international destinations.”

Lufthansa says it will fly the MSP-FRA route five days per week, without flights on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Tickets for those flights will go on sale starting Wednesday.

“These are exciting times for Lufthansa and the Lufthansa Group! We cannot wait to connect the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, and the entire state of Minnesota, with our Frankfurt hub in Germany, offering a direct link to Europe’s leading financial and cultural centers,” Dirk Janzen, Lufthansa Group Airlines’ vice president of passenger sales in the Americas, said in a prepared statement. “The United States remains our most important market outside of the Group’s European home markets, and we could not be happier to open new gateways, offering additional travel opportunities from your region to our global network of destinations.”

The company says a flight from Frankfurt will depart at 11:10 a.m. local time and arrive in Minneapolis at 1:15 p.m. local time while the service from MSP to FRA would leave Minnesota at 3:15 p.m. and arrive at 6:40 a.m. the following day. That early arrival in Frankfurt will allow other connectivity options, including to India and East Africa, which officials say is seeing higher demand in the Twin Cities. MAC notes that demand to East Africa from the Twin Cities is currently the fourth-highest in the U.S., behind only Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago.