MORRISVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- A new airline is coming to Raleigh-Durham International Airport with a new international destination.
RDU announced that German airline Lufthansa will be the airport's newest carrier.
The airline is offering non-stop flights to Frankfurt, which is a gateway airport.
It offers connections to destinations around the world including parts of Africa, the Middle East, and India making global travel much easier from RDU.
Those flights are set to take off next summer, in June.
Ryan Combs, executive director of Research Triangle Regional Partnership, said this was a long, drawn-out process to get this flight.
"Obviously the Paris flight, the London flight are very productive here in the Triangle, and we wanted to expand that and we had an opportunity with Lufthansa," Combs said.
He said the business community and universities put aside money as a good-faith, goodwill gesture for the community to ensure this flight would get used.
"From an economic development standpoint, having direct access to another market is huge for us to attract new industry from Germany," Combs said. "To get to Asia, to get to India, to get to Africa, it's another touchpoint for our commuters when they're doing business to get to where they need to go. You're seeing a lot more people being able to access other markets throughout Europe and Asia through this flight."
Combs said RDU has been working for years to get the runway expanded and this news is another reason why that project was needed to attract longer-flight international destinations.
"Three international flights from RDU when we're not a hub is a big deal," Combs added.