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United Airlines Slashes Planned Houston Flights To Tulum Before Start Of Service

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The anticipation is building for the first international flights to Tulum International Airport.

However, before the first international flight from the United States touches down on the runway, one of the country’s major airlines is already slashing service to the new airport well before its March 31 start date.

It’s an ominous start to the international flights to Tulum.

Tulum in the Mexican Caribbean

Shutdown in H-Town

It’s been a challenging couple of weeks for United Airlines.

With the airline fighting back from a rash of negative safety concerns, the airline is taking out the red pen and slashing its flight schedule.

The latest victim is Tulum International Airport.

Reports are saying that the airline plans to already make cuts to its summer service to the Mexican Caribbean dropping half of its expected flights to Tulum at the start of the slow season.

Tulum International Airport Felipe Carrillo Puerto

Starting at the end of this month, United Airlines will operate two inaugural flights to Tulum from Houston Intercontinental Airport using the popular Boeing 737 aircraft. The first will depart at 9:35 a.m., and the second will depart at 12:07 p.m.

On May 23, the airline will drop the 12:07 p.m. departure. However, it is currently scheduled to return in September.

United Airlines is explaining the flight’s cancellation based on seasonal variations in travel to Tulum and the Mexican Caribbean.

However, until the flights really get started, it’s hard to reliably forecast the impact the new airport will have on the overall tourist count.

United Boeing 787 Wide Body Aircraft

The airline is the only carrier with scheduled service between Tulum International Airport and Houston Intercontinental Airport.

It also flies to nearby Cancun International Airport from Houston Intercontinental Airport, and no flight adjustments have been announced at that airport.

The same was noted for flights to Cozumel International Airport.

Other United Tulum Flights Remain

Cars at Tulum International Airport

United Airlines has not made any changes to the rest of the flight routes planned for Tulum International Airport so far.

Along with Houston Intercontinental Airport, it will also start service to Tulum from Chicago and Newark on March 31.

That will be followed with flights to and from Los Angeles International Airport beginning on May 23.

Tourists on a Beautiful Beach in Tulum, Mexico

Flights to and from Denver still remain unchanged on the schedule starting in December.

Struggles at United

The airline’s announcement of cutting service is a surprise, as it is in the process of upgrading much of its tourist infrastructure at Houston Intercontinental Airport.

The airline is working with the city and other officials to make the airport a true hub for the future.

houston skyline

However, recent safety concerns at the airport and resulting emails and media statements from Chief Executive Officer Scott Kirby must be weighing on the minds of tourists as they start to book upcoming flights.

Looking for some low-hanging fruit to cut expenses, a new service to a new airport could be seen as a proactive and easy-to-make move.

What Travelers Need to Know

united airlines plane

It’s hard to tell if soft demand for flights to Tulum International Airport is the reason behind the route cuts from United Airline’s Houston hub.

However, tourists who enjoy flights from Houston and are dedicated United Airlines fliers will miss the additional flight option to Tulum.

Travelers will definitely want to watch for the competitive opportunity created by the opening of the Tulum airport and its impact on flights to Cancun and Cozumel.

Punta Langosta Cozumel, with palm trees, shopping mall and lighthouse

Cancun International Airport is already completing a recent upgrade of technology which will automate and speed up the traveler check-in process to five minutes or less.

The next stage could easily be a fare war between the two closely located international airports. In that case, it will be tourists who win from the better fares to the Mexican Caribbean.

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