Lufthansa Airlines announces non-stop service between Germany, San Jose

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Lufthansa Airlines has just announced new, non-stop service from Mineta San Jose International Airport to Frankfurt, Germany - a big win for international travelers who live in the South Bay. (KGO-TV)

Lufthansa Airlines has just announced new, non-stop service from Mineta San Jose International Airport to Frankfurt, Germany - a big win for international travelers who live in the South Bay.

The Lufthansa deal took about five years to complete and service will begin next spring.

At Mineta San Jose International Aiport, there's ample space for future growth.

Santa Cruz resident Jackie Daniels says San Jose is her airport of choice.

"The convenience of getting to the airport is a big one. Driving from Santa Cruz to San Francisco seems to be a bit of a hassle sometimes, and just driving over 17 seems to be a lot easier," Daniels said.

Daniels was among the many Thursday who were excited to hear that Lufthansa, Europe's largest airline, would be flying out of San Jose.

Starting in April, the airline will operate five non-stop flights a week to its European hub in Frankfurt, Germany. Business leaders call it a key international gateway for Silicon Valley.

"Being able to compete globally, which means being linked globally, in an easy way, then we are more competitive in our business," said Carl Guardino of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

This all comes on the heels of service announcements to Beijing by Hainan Airlines and London by British Airways.

As a result of these flights, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo expects tens of millions of dollars to be pumped each year into the local economy.

"These are the kinds of benefits that really accrue to folks who are often struggling in an economy where housing prices are rising quickly, so this is the type of broad-based benefit we want to create," Liccardo said.

And an increase in the amount of passengers departing out of San Jose will slowly help the airport pay down the costs of its $1.3 billion renovation project, which was completed in 2010.

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