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Cancun recovers lost ground with new flights from Europe

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
World2Fly’s Airbus A350 received an auspicious welcome to Cancun, complete with a double rainbow. Photo: Courtesy

Travelers looking to fly between Europe and Cancun have some new options.

The Spanish airline World2Fly flew its maiden voyage from Madrid to Cancun on Monday. 

The company will operate two weekly flights, on Mondays and Fridays, but says that an additional route from Lisbon is already in the works. 

“This new route from Spain is vital to help us recover the ground we lost during the past year and a half,” said Darío Flota of Quintana Roo’s tourism promotion council. 

Russian charter company Azur air has also recently resumed its direct flight between Moscow and Cancun. 

Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cancun’s airport operated several flights to and from Europe every day. 

Though many of these routes are returning little by little, a return to pre-pandemic levels is likely to take at least a couple of years. 

Earlier: 34 business shut down in Playa del Carmen over new COVID-19 rules

Quintana Roo’s state tourism board says Cancun and the Riviera Maya could expect to see as many as six million tourists during the second half of 2021. For context, the state welcomed nearly 23 million tourists in 2019. 

There is growing concern among industry leaders and residents that ever-increasing numbers of COVID-19 infections in Quintana Roo could lead to further restrictions and a slowdown of the economic recovery. 

Over the past couple of weeks, more than 100 businesses in Quintana Roo have been shut down or fined for not following emergency measures that include an 11 p.m. curfew and enhanced sanitary protocols. 

To date, Mexico has administered over 40 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines but has only managed to fully immunize roughly 13.5% of its population.

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