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U.S. airlines compete to bring vacationers to Cancun

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Airlines appear to be tripping over each other to connect U.S. travelers to Cancun.

Despite fierce competition, Southwest Airlines announced the return of its Raleigh-Durham International Airport-Cancun route for 2019. The seasonal route debuted in June, and will return Saturdays on March 9.

Southwest is just one of four airlines at Raleigh-Durham flying to Cancun. American and Delta started their seasonal Cancun services in 2016, and Frontier will join the fray this fall.

No other nonstop service is scheduled to be served by four airlines, though New York’s Kennedy, Orlando International, New Orleans, Fort Lauderdale and Denver each have three carriers competing for Cancun-bound passengers and have more flights.

Economist Michael Walden said Cancun has “always been popular with U.S. tourists seeking sun and water.”

“Plus, right now, the U.S. economy is booming, there’s more money in consumers’ pockets, and the dollar is strong – meaning trips to foreign countries – including Mexico – are cheaper,” he wrote to a reporter at the Triangle Business Journal. “Since the Triangle is one of the fastest-growing metros in the country and is attracting young professionals (who like to travel) in big numbers, it makes sense for the RDU-Cancun flight to be reinstated.”

Airport spokesman Andrew Sawyer says the route still averages to about 91.6 passengers per day. Two years ago, that average was 67 passengers daily.

Southwest’s Cancun flight will be operate on a Boeing 737.

With information from the Triangle Business Journal

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