The much-anticipated, brand new Tulum International Airport (TQO) officially opened for business Friday Dec 1st.
The airport will soon allow travelers from throughout the world to get to the popular coastal destination located some 80 miles south of Cancun much more easily than before, but for now it’s only serving domestic flights within Mexico. The airport launched on December 1 with three Viva Aerobus routes (from Mexico City International Airport, Felipe Ángeles International Airport, and Monterrey International Airport) and one Grupo Aeromexico route (also from Mexico City) landing there. Additional domestic routes from Guadalajara and Tijuana are also expected to launch at the beginning of 2024.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was on site to inaugurate the airport’s opening on Friday, and shared a post to X offering a glimpse inside the new facility.
Meanwhile, four major US airlines have all already announced plans to fly to the new Tulum airport beginning next year. Below are the details on which airlines will be launching flights to Tulum in 2024:
- Delta Air Lines was the first US airline to announce a route in October. The airline plans to launch a daily direct flight between Atlanta and the new Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport starting on March 28, 2024. The flight is slated to operate year-round on Being 737-800s.
- For its part, American Airlines will be offering four daily nonstop flights to Tulum from three US cities starting on March 28, 2024. The airline plans to offer daily flights from Charlotte, North Carolina and Miami, as well as twice-daily flights from Dallas. All the flights will be offered year-round and they’ll operate on Boeing 737s.
- Spirit Airlines will also be launching nonstop flights to Tulum on March 28, 2024. The budget-friendly airline announced in the fall that it will offer daily nonstop service between Tulum and both Orlando and Fort Lauderdale at a low introductory airfare starting at $149 one-way.
- Beginning on March 31, 2024, United Airlines plans to offer nonstop flights between Tulum and three US cities: New York/Newark, Houston, and Chicago. On May 23, the airline will add seasonal flights to Tulum from a fourth US city: Los Angeles.
Tulum Airport and the Mayan Train Project
One essential factor to consider with the establishment of the new Tulum Airport is its strategic relationship with the Mayan Train Project, expected for December 2023.
As you can see on the official map below, the Mayan Train, also known as “Tren Maya”, will traverse the states of Quintana Roo, Yucatan, Campeche, Chiapas and Tabasco, connecting significant tourist destinations such as Cancun,Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Bacalar, and Palenque.
The combination of the Tulum Airport and the Mayan Train offers a promising scenario for tourism in the region. Tourists will have the option to fly directly into Tulum, enjoy its unique offerings, and then board the Maya Train to discover other parts of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Flights to Tulum from all the above airlines are already on sale, so you can visit each respective airline’s website to book your travel.
Tulum’s new airport has just accepted its first passenger flight, which is a major development. While the idea for the airport goes back over a decade, construction only really started in late 2022, so it’s impressive how quickly the airport has opened.
The military-run airport has a 12,000 foot runway and 12 gates. It’s now welcoming domestic flights, and as of March 2024, it’ll open to international flights. This is great for travelers looking to visit the region. Those who liked Tulum for being a bit quieter than Cancun probably won’t be happy about this development. Then again, Tulum hasn’t exactly been off the radar for quite some time now and has become quite popular.