Cancun International Airport has climbed more than 50 spots in the list of the world’s busiest airports for international travelers. This year, the airport ranks 10th in total international passenger traffic as the Mexican Caribbean gears up for a record-breaking winter travel season.
Cancun International Airport is by far the largest in the Mexican Caribbean. The airport has already welcomed more than 22 million passengers this year, and with the winter season quickly approaching, officials expect the airport to keep up the pace. International travel has made a strong comeback following the complete removal of COVID-related measures in most countries, with Cancun recently scrapping mandatory mask-wearing in its airport and flights.
New statistics published this week by Airports Council International (ACI) reveal that Cancun’s airport is among the busiest in the world in terms of international passenger traffic. The airport ranks 10th in the world, having climbed some 50 spots after COVID put a halt to people’s travel plans.
Although the numbers for 2022 will be revealed later on, in 2021, Cancun International Airport saw more than 13.2 million international travelers pass through its gates. The number is all the more impressive, considering that it managed to beat Mexico City’s figure by over 2 million travelers.
According to the report published by Airports Council International, “passenger traffic rankings reflect a positive recovery trend, with the busiest airports making their way back to the top 10 most traveled airports.” That’s good news for Cancun International Airport, which is the backbone of the Mexican Caribbean’s booming tourism industry.
Cancun International Airport is one of the best-connected airports in the country, with dozens of non-stop flights to the United States alone. Meanwhile, passengers can fly directly to the tropical destination from multiple airports across much of Canada, Europe, and South America.
The Mexican Caribbean remains the primary tourist hotspot in Mexico and is the preferred destination for millions of sun-seeking North Americans. The summer season was extremely successful for the region, generating long lines at the airport and fully-booked hotels across tourist magnets like Cancun, the Riviera Maya, and Isla Mujeres.
Despite the start of the low season in September, millions of tourists are expected to flock to the area to bask in the Caribbean sun and enjoy its now sargassum-free beaches. More and more visitors are projected to travel to Cancun as the winter season approaches. Colder weather across much of North America means people are setting their sights on vacationing in the warmth down south.
Growing travel figures have led to long lines at the airport’s busy customs and immigration checks. Both travelers and tourism organizations have expressed concern over the issue, prompting authorities to take measures to decrease wait times.
With projections showing a record-breaking winter travel season, officials recently decided to trial a new electronic passport check scheme at Cancun airport. The new simplified entry check is currently only available for American and Canadian travelers, although it may be expanded in the future for citizens of other countries. Furthermore, the airport installed electronic check-in kiosks at its busy Terminal 3, further speeding up departure formalities.
Under the mechanism, travelers simply have to scan their boarding pass and passport at the new electronic gates, making entry into the region easier than ever before. The measures follow the scrapping of the mandatory FMM travel form, which was scrapped in August. The move is part of a wider effort by authorities to cut down on red tape and decrease long wait times at immigration. Some arriving travelers have had to wait up to two hours in long immigration and customs lines this year.
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