Lufthansa launched its highly anticipated nonstop service from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to Frankfurt, Germany, on Friday, becoming the third airline to offer regular nonstop flights from Austin to Europe and the only one to fly direct to the European mainland.

The airline's 225-passenger Airbus A330-300 will offer year-round service on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays; daily service could be added eventually based on interest. Flights will leave Austin around 4 p.m. and arrive in Frankfurt at 9:05 a.m. the following day. Return flights will leave Frankfurt at 10 a.m. and arrive in Austin at 2:05 p.m. Business class, premium economy and economy seating is available.

Heike Birlenbach, senior vice president of sales for Lufthansa, said connecting Austin and Frankfurt just made sense.

"(Austin is) one of the biggest growing cities in the U.S.," Birlenbach said Friday while in Austin for the launch. "With the high tech scene here, we see huge growth opportunities, but it's also about the music, culture, cuisine. Here we combine business and leisure traffic. Both are important for us, and we see huge opportunities for us as an airline and also for customers. We are writing a new chapter to connect Austin to the world."

Birlenbach added that Austin's numerous colleges and universities were also a factor in the new flight.

"We know about the huge capacities in terms of universities and the amount of students in and around Austin," she said. "We believe that's always a sign for a city to grow and for future potential. We'd like to be part of that story."

The new flights will allow passengers to connect to more than 300 other cities served by Lufthansa in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Condor Airlines previously offered seasonal direct flights from Austin to Frankfurt but discontinued them for 2019. British Airways and Norwegian currently offer nonstop flights from Austin to London. Lufthansa also offers nonstop service to Frankfurt from Houston and Dallas.

Learn more about the new route or book flights at lufthansa-usa.com.

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