Cancun Continues To Be One Of The Best Connected Small Airports For American Tourists
Cancun has seen tremendous growth in the past two years. The idyllic resort town has always been popular, but the pandemic’s effects have sent the tourist hub’s reputation stratospheric, evident in the increasing number of airlines vying for direct flights to the Cancun International Airport (CUN).
The United States has long been the most significant market for the region. Whether visitors were heading to Cancun, Tulum, or any destination in the Mexican Caribbean, CUN was the gateway and has been since the seventies. But at no point in its history have so many destinations in the United States had direct flights to the airport. A further 25 countries are also directly connected to Cancun.
According to the most recent information, thirty-seven cities in the United States now have direct routes to the Mexican Caribbean via CUN. An astounding number for an airport its size. 2021 saw it function as one of the busiest airports on the planet, although it’s unlikely to retain that title as the rest of the world opens up again.
Dallas Forth-Worth (DFW) functions as the most popular gateway to Cancun for the US. This month alone, the airport will receive 399 flights from DFW, with its Texas sibling Houston (IAH) also seeing another 280. Houston’s second airport also threw in 108 flights, combing for a whopping 787 flights from Texas’ two biggest cities alone. DFW and IAH function as one of the biggest transfer hubs for the US. Many regional airports without direct flights will utilize these huge airports, and airlines have taken advantage. More flights were added in the past week.
Following the Texas giants are the major cities you would expect to see on the list. Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, New York City, and Denver are all sending over 150 flights from their main airports this month. New York is sending 191 from JFK and another 152 from Newark, signifying huge interest in the Mexican Caribbean from the north of the country.
More telling of Cancun’s continued popularity is the bottom end of the spectrum. Although the sheer volume of flights from the US’ major hubs highlights obvious trends, it’s the addition of smaller airports that signifies how in demand the resort town is.
Cities like Milwaukee, Indianapolis, and Kansas City are now seeing direct flights added to Cancun. Of course, they are not sending anywhere near the numbers that LAX or JFK are sending. Milwaukee only has four flights scheduled this month, but airlines are still seeing enough value in the route to add it. Milwaukee is approximately the 53 third busiest airline in the US. Even tiny airports like Harlingen in Texas are now home to nine flights a month to Cancun.
Seattle appears to be the furthest direct flight from the US to Cancun, with an estimated air time of around six and a half hours. That route runs sixty times a month. That doesn’t quite match up to its Honolulu routes which run over 160 times a month, but still shows that enough people are interested in the Mexican Caribbean to take a longer flight than its Hawaii one – although the price may factor heavily into that decision.
With the addition of Tulum’s new airport in the coming year or so, the volume and variation of traffic that Quintana Roo can accept will increase dramatically. It’s estimated that a further four million passengers will be able to visit the state when the airport is complete, opening up the possibility for airports to double down on their frequencies, or for other airports to get in on the action.
Wherever a tourist is coming from in the States, there is almost no doubt they are a simple flight away from Cancun. Every major airport is served and even those close to some of the smallest hubs in the country are a short connection from one of those. As interest grows once more towards the end of the year, expect more airlines and routes to spring up temporarily, especially from some of the budget airlines like Frontier and Spirit.
Travelers hoping to head to Cancun in the coming weeks should prepare for some delays as the world still grapples with staff shortages and other problems stemming from the pandemic. Cancellations and other issues are rampant. Planning ahead and contacting your airline before arriving at the airport is good practice to help avoid disappointment.
Here is the full list of current US airports serving Cancun directly in order of frequency:
Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)
New York City (JFK)
Los Angeles (LAX)
Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
New York (EWR)
San Francisco (SFO)
St Louis (STL)
San Antonio (SAT)
Salt Lake City (SLC)
New Orleans (MSY)
Raleigh Durham (RDU)
Kansas City (MCI)
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