Second U.S. Airline Announces Direct Flights To Tulum’s New Airport

Second U.S. Airline Announces Direct Flights To Tulum's New Airport

Momentum is building for the opening of the newest airport in the Mexican Caribbean – the Tulum International Airport conveniently located near the tourist hotspots of Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

While the airport will officially open to passengers in December, it will only be open for domestic arrivals. Travelers to the Mexican Caribbean can transit through an airport in Mexico to connect to Tulum International Airport.

March of 2024 is the target date for direct international flights to the airport in Tulum and airlines from the United States are already making plans to start service to the newest airport in the Mexican Caribbean.

The Spirit of Tulum

The first international airline to announce service to the new Tulum International Airport (TQO) was Delta Airlines

The airline announced nonstop direct service this month from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) to Tulum International Airport starting March 28.

However, another United States airline just threw its hat in the ring to provide nonstop direct flights to Tulum according to local media in the area – Spirit Airlines.

Exact details were not available on the company website, however, media outlets in Cancun were reporting that the airline plans to start flights to Tulum International Airport from its Florida hubs at Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).

According to published reports, Tourism Secretary Bernardo Cueto Riestra was the local official who announced the agreement reached between Spirit Airlines and the airport.

Spirit Expands in Mexico

Spirit Airlines, one of the largest ultra-low-cost-carrier airlines in the United States, is a natural fit for Tulum International Airport as its is focused on leisure travelers and already has flight operations in Mexico.

It currently has flights to three beach resort destinations in Mexico – Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and nearby Cancun.

It should be interesting to see if the airline continues flights to Cancun after the addition of flights to Tulum International Airport.

Instead of being part of the intense competition for passengers at Cancun International Airport, it may decide strategically to focus its efforts on Tulum instead.

Demand Increases in Tulum

While Spirit Airlines may make the choice to focus on Tulum instead of Cancun, the demand for flights to the new airport in December is already turning heads of airline officials.

Focused only on domestic flights at this point, tourists have flocked to the 14 weekly Aeromexico flights at the new Tulum International Airport.

In fact, only limited availability for flights to Tulum are currently available for the Mexican Caribbean peak travel season around Christmas and New Years Eve.

For example, Aeromexico flight prices for December 29 and 30 from Mexico City to Tulum were priced starting at about $167 ($3033 Mexican Pesos) per person for the very basic fare with a carry-on bag and personal item. 

There were additional charges for checked-in bags and other amenities.

Tips For Travelers

The demand for Tulum International Airport flights is showing the interest of travelers to visit the Mexican Caribbean area south of Cancun.

Prices will remain high, and flights will be limited to Aeromexico and VivaAerobus, until additional domestic airlines and flights are added.

Travelers looking to fly to the area are best off waiting until the opening of international flights, which will include options from Delta Air Lines and Spirit Airlines, in March of next year.

The additional airlines will help stabilize the market and provide more competition for Tulum visitors.

Travelers should also expect more announcements from United States airlines as they get approved for international flights at the Tulum International Airport starting next year.

The question that is yet to be seen is what will happen to the existing flight at Cancun International Airport. Will some of those be transitioned to the new Tulum International Airport or will airlines support travelers at both locations?