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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

New flights will connect the Yucatán Peninsula to the Americas better than ever 

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2024 is set to be a major year for new flights from the Yucatán Peninsula. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

The past couple of years have seen an explosion of new flights from Yucatán’s main airports.

Now, it looks like this trend is to continue in 2024.

Next year, new direct flights from Mérida to Miami and Orlando are to be operated by Viva Aerobus, while flights to Atlanta, seen briefly in 2017, will be revived by Aeromexico, which has a codeshare agreement with Delta. 

Earlier this week also saw the inauguration of a new Mérida-Puebla flight aimed at business travelers and tourists. 

“We continue to strive to bring better connectivity to Mérida, and we are succeeding. We have never had this many domestic or international routes, and we are truly delighted,” said Manuel Gutiérrez Sola, the president of airport management group ASUR.

Cancún’s airport has also begun to increase the number and frequency of its flights to Europe, Turkey, South America, and especially Colombia.

Once Tulum’s new airport is operational by the end of the year, there are also plans for a direct flight to Río de Janeiro.

“Investments in southeastern México are really beginning to pay off. We are seeing unprecedented interest in expanding into the region, and not just the well-established destinations like Cancún,” said an airline Industry analyst, Matteo López. 

Earlier: New direct Air Canada flight to Cozumel raises questions

Even the Pensinsulas’s most under-served airport, Campeche International, recently announced it would be increasing its flights with service to Felipe Ángeles airport in México State. 

But the biggest news in the Mexican travel industry is the planned return to the market of Mexicana Airlines, once the largest in the country, but grounded for the last 13 years. 

A plane from Mexicana Airlines takes off in 2008. Photo: Eddie Maloney / Wikimedia Commons

The airline, which will be owned entirely by the federal government, will have its day-to-day operation run by the National Defense Department, which already controls security in several of the nation’s main airports. 

The government said tickets would be up to 15% cheaper than their commercial competitors without sacrificing safety or quality.

The return of the historic airline is seen by some analysts as a pet project of the current administration. Changes in Mexico’s political landscape could create turbulence for Mexicana. 

Also, the connectivity promised by the Tren Maya is a net positive for the region’s airports.

While some airports like those in Mérida and Cancún are working on plans to offer easy connections to the rail network, Tulum’s airport is being built with this integration in mind from the get-go. 

A handful of smaller newcomers to the market include Aerus, which operates out of eight Mexican airports including Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche; and Villahermosa, Tabasco. 

Aerus’ website claims it is planning new routes for 2024, but specifics are scarce.

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
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.
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