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San Antonio’s First Long-Haul Flight Takes Off

The very first transatlantic service from San Antonio connects the city to Frankfurt three times a week.

Condor’s first flight to San Antonio (Photo: City of San Antonio)

The first-ever nonstop transatlantic service from San Antonio airport is taking off for Frankfurt, Germany, with flight number DE2137. Operated by German carrier Condor on an Airbus A330-900neo, it will become the only long-haul flight out of the airport, marking an important milestone for the Texan city.

The city pair will be connected three times a week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. On Mondays, the Condor flight lands at 20:05 and departs for Germany at 22:05. On Wednesdays and Fridays, the flight arrives in San Antonio at 18:25 and departs for Frankfurt at 20:25. The seasonal service will operate from May to September.

Ribbon cutting for the inaugural flight from Frankfurt to San Antonio (Photo: City of San Antonio)

Behind the New Route

AirlineGeeks had the chance to speak to the airport’s air service development department at an October conference about the new Condor flight to Europe, and here are some of the main factors that led to the new connection:

German Ties

The Chief Air Service Development Officer at San Antonio Airport, Brian Pratte, pointed out during the chat that many San Antonio residents have German ties and can benefit from the new flight. At the same time, there are U.S. military bases near Frankfurt and the flight will give military relatives and personnel easier access.

San Antonio Community

Travel demand in southern and central Texas has been on the rise, driven by economic growth with several companies relocating or expanding in the region. The San Antonio metro area also boasts a population of over 2.5 million, and Pratte said a flight to Europe has long been on the ‘wish list’ of the community and the airport. The Condor flight not only provides access to Germany but also a one-stop connection to the rest of Europe via Frankfurt on Lufthansa, with whom Condor has a code-share partnership.

Tourism

San Antonio was the most visited city in Texas over the past few years, welcoming 35 million visitors in 2022 and 39 million in 2023, according to Visit San Antonio. The majority of the visitors have been domestic, but the city has been working to attract more international tourists. Condor, a carrier traditionally targeting vacation destinations, fits well in connecting German tourists to the city.

Condor’s new route to San Antonio is the city’s first long-haul flight. (Photo: City of San Antonio)

Alternative to Austin?

Austin’s airport is experiencing growth but is exceeding its capacity. San Antonio airport is located around 80 miles from Austin and the two cities are connected by Interstate 35. The drive typically takes around two hours, but even less for residents of Austin’s southern suburbs, making San Antonio a legitimate alternative for travelers to or from Austin.

For Condor, San Antonio is its second attempt in Southern Texas; the first was in Austin. The carrier flew to Austin until 2018, when Lufthansa entered the market and Condor withdrew. With the new flight, San Antonio will be Condor’s airport of choice in Southern Texas.

Anthony Bang An

Author

  • Anthony Bang An

    Anthony is an airline enthusiast who also loves traveling. He grew up around the world from St. Louis to Singapore and now lives in Amsterdam. He loves long-haul flying and finds peace in the sound of engine cruising. Fresh out of high school, he aspires to be working in the aviation industry and share his passion for the sky. 

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