Cancun’s Airport Enjoying Smooth Schedules Despite Global Disarray
The Cancun International Airport is still going strong, despite the industry wide chaos enacted by the Omicron variant.
The rest of the world has seen countless flights cancelled over the past week. Severe staff shortages, weather issues, and other problems have thrown the industry into disarray.
The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus is proving to be a much more transmissible strain. The strain is responsible for more than 75% of new infections worldwide, and although its effects seem less severe, the record breaking numbers are still likely to have an impact on hospital admissions.
Whether luck, or defiance on airline carrier’s parts, the airport continued to have near record days most of the last week. An average of more than 600 flights operated in and out of the Cancun airport last week, with more than 400 of them coming and going from destinations abroad. The number equates to around 25 operations every hour, a stunning number for the seaside town in what has been a terrible two years for global tourism.
The airport uses interesting phrasing for their description of the current state of things. Several statements suggest there have been no cancellations, but their online departures and arrivals portal shows at least 10 cancellations for Monday alone. This is still an extremely good cancellation rate when compared to the rest of the world, but with some of the flights coming from major hubs like Los Angeles, as many as 450 passengers could have missed out on their vacations.
Mexico is in increasingly high demand thanks to its relaxed entry requirements, leading many tourists to make the trip from further afoot than normal. Although the bulk of business is still coming from the US and Canada, Europe has drastically increased their presence in the market, evident from the addition of several new routes from companies like Aeroflot. Similar carriers are now offering direct flights from major European hubs like Barcelona, Madrid, London, and Paris.
In stark contrast, the US is reporting extremely high numbers of flight cancellations. The unfortunate combination of staff shortages and inclement weather left 2800 flight cancelled on Tuesday, with a further 8,000 delays. Monday showed similar numbers, with another 2800 cancelations, and 11,000 delays. Globally, 6000 flights were cancelled on Christmas Eve.
The presence of Omicron in Cancun has been confirmed several times, but world leaders are hesitant to stop operations to and from the popular destination. It was reported this week that three Paraguayan visitors returned from Cancun and tested positive for the Omicron variant, as well as another fourteen visitors from Brazil. Neither country has implemented any rules or restrictions on the area, although the topic has been broached as a possibility with the Paraguayan health department.
Other countries with rapidly rising infection rates have found themselves on the other side of bans, like the UK, who’s citizens have been barred from entering nations like Germany temporarily.
It remains to be seen how long the Omicron variant will cause disarray in the industry, but for now at least, Cancun International Airport is still reaping the benefits of the bolder border opening choices of Mexico.
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