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Southwest To End Flights To This Popular Island Near Cancun

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It’s been a tough time recently for the airline industry with questions about safety and route cuts coming from some of the major airlines flying to the Mexican Caribbean.

In the latest move, Southwest Airlines announced in its earnings call on Thursday that it planned to end operations at a key island airport in the region.

The End of Island Time

Cozumel island

Southwest Airlines announced on Thursday that it experienced a net loss of $231 million in the first quarter of the year, and in addition to cost control measures, including limiting hiring, it will close its flight operations to four airports, including one in the Mexican Caribbean.

The four airports that will lose Southwest Airlines flight service include Houston Intercontinental Airport, Bellingham International Airport, Syracuse International Airport, and, unfortunately, Cozumel International Airport.

Southwest Airlines planes flying on a clear day

“To improve our financial performance, we have intensified our network optimization efforts to address underperforming markets. Consequently, we have made the difficult decision to close our operations at Cozumel International Airport,” said Southwest Airlines President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Jordan in a statement about the end of service to the airport. “I want to sincerely thank our employees, the airports, and the communities for all their incredible support over the years.”

The service to Cozumel International Airport will come to an end on August 4.

Walking path for the travelers at the Airport of Cozumel

Southwest Cozumel Operations

Southwest Airlines only had one permanent and two seasonal destinations to and from Cozumel.

The company’s regular flights originated in its original airport of service, Houston Hobby Airport.

Meanwhile, it offered seasonal flights from Denver International Airport and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Southwest Plane at Airport

The departure of Southwest Airlines service in Cozumel brings to a close the last flights of a low cost United States carrier to the airport.

Southwest Service to the Mexican Caribbean

Despite this, Southwest Airlines still offers 13 regular routes to and from cities in the United States to Cancun International Airport.

That includes flights to and from Denver and Houston Hobby Airport.

Cancun International Airport

It also offers seasonal flights to Cancun from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

Southwest Airlines currently does not offer any flights directly to and from Merida International Airport or the new Tulum International Airport.

Issues With Future Expansion

Southwest plane about to take off

For those hoping for a Southwest Airlines expansion to Tulum or additional flights to Cancun beyond the one starting soon from Orlando, travelers may have to wait a while.

Unfortunately, the airline is dependent on Boeing aircraft, and the issues that the airplane manufacturer is facing are related to safety concerns that are spreading to the airlines themselves.

Southwest originally planned on having an additional 79 aircraft this year, according to reports from the company. It announced in its earnings report that the number has now dropped to 20 this year due to the challenges faced by Boeing.

Vendors on a Street Leading Up To the Beach in Cozumel, Mexico

That means that additional capacity and routes to the Mexican Caribbean are essentially off the table for this year. Hence, the ending of flight operations at Cozumel International Airport.

Recommendations For Visitors

Southwest Airlines frequent fliers used to flying to Cozumel for an island beach resort vacation getaway will have to fly to Cancun instead and then use alternative transportation to find their way to get to the island.

cozumel beach

Alternatively, there are still full-service airlines in the United States which are serving the popular travel route.

Hopefully, once Southwest Airlines gets past its airplane and financial issues it can look at new destinations and routes again in the Mexican Caribbean.

That would include flights to the new Tulum International Airport in addition to hopefully restarting flights to the Mexican Caribbean island beach escape of Cozumel.

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