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The Street
The Street
Veronika Bondarenko

Delta adds a new route to Mexico

If you follow at least a few influencers, you'll have surely heard of Tulum.

Once a sleepy beach town on the tip of Mexico's Quintana Roo state known for its Mayan history, it had initially been popular with a certain type of wealthy traveler for its exclusivity and out-of-the-way nature. As travel influencers started to associate photos from the resort with a certain prestige, Tulum's popularity exploded — in 2022, it saw more than two million visitors.

Related: American Airlines is changing up its long-haul network with four new routes

Up until now, the best way for international arrivals to come to Tulum was to fly into Cancun International Airport and then go the remaining 75 miles by road. The resort itself was too small for an airport but, after its explosion in popularity, Mexico's authorities decided to build one in the space of 3,000 acres — Felipe Carrillo Puerto Tulum International Airport is currently under construction and slated to open by January 2024.

Delta expands its service in Mexico and Central America.


We're 'uniquely positioned to give customers access,' airline says

As the airport's completion date nears, airlines are starting to plan routes to Tulum. While Aeromexico (GRPAF) -) already announced plans for 17 weekly flights between Tulum and other Mexican cities, Delta Air Lines (DAL) -) became the first U.S. airline to commit to a Tulum route.

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As the airline announced on Oct. 13, the Atlanta-Tulum route will launch on March 28, 2024, and run daily throughout the year.

"Delta is uniquely positioned to give customers convenient and direct access from the U.S. to Tulum, a premium leisure destination known for its boutique hotels, Mayan ruins and eco-friendly spirit," Joe Esposito, the SVP of Network Planning for the airline, said in a statement. "We know Tulum-bound customers will enjoy the elevated experience Delta consistently offers – and now without a two-hour drive from Cancun – as we grow our footprint in Mexico and throughout the Yucatan region."

Here's why Delta is planning a new route around spring break

The flight will run on a Boeing 737-800 plane (BA) -) with room for 108 economy seats, 36 Comfort+ seats and 16 First Class sleeper ones. Atlanta, in turn, was chosen as the city from which to start testing service to Tulum due to its status as a major hub as well as the high number of college students from the area who leave for Mexico for spring break and other holidays from the area.

"Next year, Delta customers will benefit from the airline’s largest-ever spring break schedule in Mexico, as the airline will offer 10% more seat capacity this year on 55 peak-day flights to eight cities across the country," the airline said of the new route.

For those traveling to Tulum from other cities in the U.S., there will be connecting routes in Mexico City and other cities through Delta's partnership with Aeromexico. There will also always be the option of flying into Cancun as now because flights to smaller regional airports tend to be more expensive than major ones. 

Tulum is also a part of Delta's wider expansion of service to Mexico, as well as Central American countries such as Guatemala and Costa Rica for the coming year.

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