Lufthansa Lands at MSP Airport
Starting June 2024, Lufthansa will provide direct flights five days a week between MSP Airport and Frankfurt. Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Airports Commission

Lufthansa Lands at MSP Airport

For the first time, the German airline will begin direct service from MSP Airport to Frankfurt starting next summer.

One of Europe’s largest airlines will land at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport next summer.

On Tuesday, the Metropolitan Airports Commission, or MAC, announced that Lufthansa will begin serving MSP Airport for the first time on June 4, 2024. The MAC operates MSP Airport and a handful of smaller “reliever” airports in the metro.

Germany-based Lufthansa will provide year-round service between MSP and its hub in Frankfurt. Flights will run five days a week between Minnesota and Frankfurt: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday. In terms of passengers carried, Lufthansa is the second-largest airline in Europe after Ireland-based low-cost carrier Ryanair.

In a news release, commission CEO Brian Ryks said the new service will “support the increased year-round demand for air travel from Minnesota and the upper Midwest to Europe and other international destination.” The service is also designed to connect passengers to far-flung areas beyond Germany, including India and East Africa, according to the MAC. Routes to those places have seen “increased demand from the Minneapolis-St. Paul region,” commission officials said. “Demand to East Africa from the Twin Cities is currently the fourth-highest in the U.S. after Washington, D.C., New York and Chicago,” they noted.

This will not, of course, be the first direct service to Germany from Minnesota. Condor Airlines, for instance, resumed MSP-Frankfurt flights last year. For many decades, Lufthansa owned shares of Condor but no longer does.

The fate of business travel, meanwhile, remains an open question. Historically, MSP Airport has relied on a steady stream of business travelers, which have long been considered to be more profitable than leisure travelers. Last summer, TCB published a deep dive into MSP Airport’s strategy to lure business travelers back.