Saturday, April 20, 2024

Got 1 min? First US flights arrive at Tulum airport

After nearly four months of anticipation, the first international flight arrived at the Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport in the Caribbean resort city of Tulum on Thursday morning.

Tulum’s new airport — inaugurated on Dec. 1, 2023 — and its ground crew welcomed the nearly 600 travelers who arrived from Dallas on American Airlines flight 1131 at 11 a.m. with a water salute.

Tulum international airpot
The airport is expected to bring a surge in tourism to the already-popular region. (Mara Lezama/X)

The terminal was kept busy as additional inaugural international flights arrived from Atlanta, Charlotte and Miami, with airport officials eagerly anticipating more than 6,100 passengers per week in the next few months. United Airlines service to Tulum from Newark, New Jersey, Chicago and Houston will begin on Sunday.

Reporting from Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, Forbes noted that leisure travelers filled the airport there. America’s Charlotte hub features 30 destinations in Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Ralph Lopez Massas, American Airlines senior vice president for Charlotte, told Forbes that all three of the airline’s Tulum inaugurals from Charlotte, Dallas and Miami were booked full.

The new international airport in Tulum is considered a welcome alternative to the crowded Cancún airport and Tulum itself is a popular destination that offers Maya ruins, a picturesque landscape and white sandy beaches.

American Airlines flight 1131 from Dallas, the first international flight to land in Tulum, receives a water salute.
American Airlines flight 1131 from Dallas, the first international flight to land in Tulum, receives a water salute. (FL360aero/X)

The new routes add up to 22 weekly flights to the Tulum airport and that’s great news for the tourism sector in the state of Quintana Roo.

Officials from the state Tourism Ministry (Sedetur) told El Financiero that there are nearly 550,000 tourists registered in the Caribbean state with current hotel occupancy exceeding 80% in the region, including 89% in Cancún and nearly 88% in Cozumel. Sedetur expects upwards of 1.2 million vacationers this week, fueled by U.S. college students traveling to the state’s beach resorts for spring break.

JetBlue will begin operating flights to Tulum from New York’s JFK International Airport in June and Spirit Airlines intends to start flying to Tulum from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, beginning this summer. Air Canada will begin operating flights from Toronto and Montreal to Tulum in May, and the first direct flights from Europe are expected to begin arriving in Tulum in December.

With reports from El Financiero and Forbes

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