Take a virtual trip through Tampa International Airport's ongoing $1 billion expansion.

Tampa Bay's gateway to the world has begun work on a new car-rental station, people-mover and 50,000 square feet of new retail and restaurant space in the main terminal.

The new additions will modernize the airport and keep its competitive as Tampa Bay gains more air service from the West Coast, Europe and Latin America. 

The improvements ought to also keep Tampa International atop the customer-satisfaction rankings both in the U.S. and in the world.

German airline Lufthansa begins flying to Tampa Bay on Sept. 25 from its hub in Frankfurt, Germany, putting Tampa Bay within one stop of more than 50 international cities.

Lufthansa's North American marketing director Don Bunkenburg told local business officials Friday morning that the decision to serve Tampa Bay was logical, given the region's mix of vacation destinations and business interests. Tampa Bay has more than 60 German-affiliated companies doing business locally.

"We're ready to connect you to the world and the world to you," Bunkenburg said.