Low-cost airlines long to operate in the new Tulum airport

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American and Canadian travelers will arrive via low-cost airlines at the new Tulum International Airport.

The low-cost airlines Southwest, Spirit, Frontier, Jetblue, Alaska Airlines, Volaris, and VivaAerobus are the most interested in flying from the Tulum International Airport, one of the works promoted by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to reduce the economic backwardness and community of the Yucatan Peninsula.

“Low-cost airlines (Southwest, Spirit, Frontier, Jetblue, Alaska Airlines, Volaris, and VivaAerobus) show an interest in the new Tulum Airport and are willing to operate in it at lower rates than in Cancun, slot flexibility, airport expansion flexibility, and ease of operation”, reveals IATAConsulting.

In contrast, the large traditional North American airlines such as American Airlines, Delta Airlines, and United Airlines are not enthusiastic about the new air terminal in the city of Mayan culture in Quintana Roo, since their priority is to grow in the Cancun International Airport, he says. the market study and traffic forecasts for the new Tulum Airport.


The document held by Forbes Mexico recalls that Canadian and American travelers from traditional airlines hire vacation packages aligned with the hotel business model of Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

“Traditional European airlines are more likely to operate in complementary airports such as Tulum than North American ones, as they have already shown by starting operations at La Romana Airport in the Dominican Republic,” says the entity linked to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

It points out that the airlines consider that in order to operate at Tulum Airport, a series of requirements must be met that make the operation attractive and/or improve the current operational conditions at the Cancun Airport (use of technology at the airport).

“It is going to be essential that the rates improve the existing rates at the Cancun Airport to generate a pull effect, especially for low-cost airlines that are more sensitive to more flexible pricing.”

The Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP) reported that it will cost 16 thousand 331 million pesos to build the military air base and the International Airport of Tulum, Quintana Roo.

By 2023, the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) will have a budget of 3,177 million pesos to build the airport planned to serve tourists arriving in Tulum, Puerto Aventuras, Akumal, Xel-Há, Cobá, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Bacalar, Mahahual and Chetumal, reveals the Federation’s Expenditure Budget project for fiscal year 2023 delivered by Rogelio Ramírez de la O, Secretary of the Treasury, to the Chamber of Deputies.

According to the SHCP, they have invested more than 13 thousand 154 million pesos in the construction of the air terminal and the military base located 21 km from Tulum, very close to the route of section 6 of the Mayan Train and less than 200 km from the main cities of Quintana Roo.

IATA Consulting projects that the Tulum International Airport will begin to show the positive effects of the Mayan Train as of 2028, when the impact of the price of oil on airfares is mitigated.

During the first years of existence of the Tulum International Airport, a progressive development of passenger traffic is expected, since it will begin with the transfer of 700 thousand travelers in 2024.

“As of 2028, (the year in which it will be used by 2 million 400 thousand travelers), the Tulum International Airport is expected to begin to notice the positive effects of the Mayan Train on traffic.”

Added to the foreseeable progressive decrease in fares (once the trance caused by the Ukraine War has been overcome) they will cause airport traffic to grow significantly in the following years to 5 million passengers in 2033.

“It is expected that the Tulum International Airport will accommodate approximately 17,200,000 people in its farthest horizon, which will confer a complementary airport status to the Cancun Airport, which will continue to be the main airport in the region” , details IATA Consulting.

The tourism that the Tulum Airport will attract is more oriented to foreign tourism, since the destinations within the area of ​​influence are eminently visited by travelers interested in culture, history and other types of travel.

“The Tulum area has a higher proportion of international visitors than the Cancun and Playa del Carmen area and it is expected that the main market of the Airport will be the North American market and the proportion of national traffic will be lower than that of the Cancun Airport”, stands out.

Currently, the hotel supply in Quintana Roo is concentrated in the large resorts of Cancun and Playa del Carmen, according to the body in charge of formulating industry policies on crucial issues for aviation.

While the offer in Tulum corresponds to medium-small hotels, that is, 50 rooms per hotel: “Today Tulum is the second municipality with the most hotels with 228, after Solidaridad.”

Despite having more hotels than Benito Juárez (Cancún), Tulum only has 10,866 rooms for the medium hotel typology with 50 rooms per hotel, he explains.

Cancun and Playa del Carmen account for approximately 70 percent of the total tourist rooms in the state of Quintana Roo: “This area is within the zone of influence of the Cancun Airport,” declares IATA Consulting.

Today, three different types of accommodation models coexist in the state of Quintana Roo: the traditional resort, small and medium-sized hotels, and Airbnb, he specifies.

“These last two are the most characteristic types of accommodation in the Tulum area, while the most characteristic types of accommodation in the Cancun and Playa del Carmen area are the large resorts.”

The profile of the tourist from Tulum, compared to the profile of the tourist from Cancun, is that of a tourist with greater purchasing power and foreigner, who manages the vacations, wants to be in contact with nature and seeks a different experience of sun and beach. to that offered in large resorts.

The hotel supply in Tulum will increase by around 25 percent in the coming years.

“From the distribution exercise it is obtained that approximately 23-24% of the tourist market will be influenced by the Tulum Airport, while the Cancun Airport will dominate the market with a 75% share”, concludes IATA Consulting.

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