TULUM, Mexico – As winter approaches, United Airlines is set to bring a warm breeze to the season with expanded travel options to sun-soaked destinations. Starting March 31, 2024, the airline will increase its capacity to various Caribbean, Central American, South American, and Mexican destinations.
United Airlines is making a notable addition to its roster, introducing direct services to Mexico’s newly inaugurated Tulum International Airport (TQO) from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), and Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD). The airport, nestled on the picturesque Yucatán Peninsula, serves as a gateway to popular resorts like Cancún and Playa del Carmen, as well as historical sites such as the Mayan Chichén Itzá.
Senior Vice President of Network Planning and Alliances, Patrick Quayle, expressed the airline’s rationale for this southern expansion, stating, “Tulum is at the top of a lot of travel lists – great beaches and restaurants, and a region featuring a rich history and spectacular natural beauty. Our new direct flights help people get there faster than ever, giving them even more time to enjoy one of Mexico’s most unique destinations.”
United Airlines currently operates direct services to Cancun International Airport (CUN) and Cozumel International Airport (CZM). The upcoming Tulum Airport is poised to enhance connectivity for tourists exploring the Riviera Maya region.
For those eager to escape winter’s grasp before March, United Airlines will offer over 200 weekly departures between eight US cities and Cancun. Boeing 777 jets will be deployed on select services to meet the demand for this popular destination. Additionally, flights to Cozumel will run 11 times a week from Chicago, Houston, and Denver International Airport (DEN).
The new Tulum Airport has caught the attention of major carriers, with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Spirit Airlines also preparing to launch operations. Scheduled for December 1, Viva Aerobus and Aeromexico are among the first airlines to inaugurate Tulum Airport.
In tandem with its Mexican expansion, United Airlines plans to increase capacity on routes to Latin America and the Caribbean by up to 25% throughout the winter travel season. This growth solidifies United Airlines’ position as the largest US airline in Central America, serving destinations such as San José’s Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO), Liberia International Airport (LIR) in Costa Rica, El Salvador International Airport (SAL), Belize City’s Philip S. W. Goldson International Airport (BZE), and La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City.
Latin America has become a sought-after destination for North American tourists, surpassing pre-pandemic traffic numbers. The Latin American & Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) reported a 0.6% passenger growth between 2019 and 2023, with Mexico, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic leading the way. Predictions indicate that tourism in Latin America will contribute around $319.5 billion to the regional economy in 2023, a 1.2% increase compared to 2019 figures, reinforcing the region’s resilience in the post-pandemic era.