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FILE - In this July 2, 2021 file photo, a United Airlines jetliner taxis down a runway for take off from Denver International Airport in Denver. 

United Airlines is planning to operate direct flights between Denver and Munich, Germany beginning in 2022, the airline announced Thursday.

Munich is one of the largest travel hubs in Europe, offering flight connections to dozens of countries across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia, according to Denver International Airport. In 2019, Munich was the airport’s seventh-largest market in Europe with nearly 35,000 annual travelers.

“United’s continued investment in more international flights from Denver is encouraging,” said airport CEO Phil Washington. “This new service to Munich provides more options for those traveling to Europe and also for connecting passengers through DEN.”

The new service is set to begin on April 23, 2022, the airport said. This will make United Airlines the second airline to offer nonstop service between Denver and Munich, behind the German airline Lufthansa.

United Airlines also offers daily direct flights between Denver and Frankfurt, Germany. These flights were paused during the COVID-19 pandemic but are expected to resume on March 4, 2022, the airport said.

The Denver to Munich operation is part of United Airlines’ largest ever transatlantic expansion, the airline said.

“Given our big expectations for a rebound in travel to Europe for summer, this is the right time to leverage our leading global network in new, exciting ways,” said Patrick Quayle with United Airlines. “Our expansion offers the widest range of destinations to discover."

The 2022 expansion includes 10 new flights to cities in Germany, Ireland and Italy, and five new destinations: Amman, Jordan; Bergen, Norway; Azores, Portugal; Palma de Mallorca, Spain; and Tenerife, Spain.

The Denver to Munich flights will operate daily, year-round onboard a Boeing 787-9, the airport said.