ST. LOUIS – Friday marks one year since German airline Lufthansa began operating non-stop service to Germany from St. Louis Lambert International Airport. Airport officials placed balloons and a sign at Gate E29 to celebrate.

Lufthansa Flight 448 made its arrival at Terminal 2 at Lambert Airport around 1:30 p.m.

The Airbus A330 seats 255 passengers. For Friday’s flight, the aircraft left gate Z23 in Frankfurt and climbed to an altitude of 40,000 feet.

With its two Rolls-Royce engines, it was cruising at 534 miles an hour.

The aircraft sat at Terminal 2 to prepare to pick up passengers to fly back to Frankfurt—passengers like Kent Zschoche.

“We’re looking forward to going to Europe! We’re a family of five, and I’ve never been to Europe; my wife has,” Zschoche said. “And part of the reason why we decided to do it is because there’s a direct flight now. So it was as simple as that.”

Mathilde Hodin is flying Lufthansa for the first time. She’ll catch a connecting flight from Frankfurt to Paris. She said she also likes the fact that it’s a non-stop flight.

“And the fact also I don’t have to pick up my suitcases and all of it. And it’s like 9 hours, and the second flight is going to be short,” Hodin said.

One year ago, the airline began its three-times-a-week service with arrivals and departures every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

“It’s sold out on many of the days. Even through the winter months, which sometimes can be a lot less, it was really busy,” said Rhonda Hammniebruegge, airport director. “So I think what it shows is that this region is ready to travel internationally, and the non-stop just gives people that extra push.”

Lambert officials said that last year, Lufthansa averaged 94 percent capacity on the flights flying into and out of St. Louis.