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The Street
The Street
Veronika Bondarenko

Spirit Airlines follows Delta with new flight to popular tourist hotspot

While the influencers have started to move on from Tulum in search of other places, the aviation world is just starting to meet the influx of tourists who have descended on what was once a sleepy town in the easternmost part of Mexico.

Currently in the final stages of construction, Felipe Carrillo Puerto Tulum International Airport is preparing to open in January 2024 while airlines are in the process of planning and announcing routes that serve it.

Related: A small regional airline launched six new routes between the U.S. and Mexico

While Aeromexico (GRPAF) -) announced plans for 17 weekly flights between Tulum and other Mexican cities, Delta Air Lines (DAL) -) became the first U.S. airline to launch a Tulum route when, on Oct. 13, it announced a daily Atlanta-Tulum flight that it would start running in March 2024.

Tulum has been seeing unprecedented levels of tourists in the last five years.


Use us to ‘get to the city and enjoy beaches,’ new airline says

The second airline and the first budget one in the U.S. to commit to Tulum, the Florida-based Spirit Airlines (SAVE) -). announced routes to the new Felipe Carrillo airport from both Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.

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“Tulum is an increasingly popular choice for leisure travelers, and our direct flights from Florida will make a getaway to Mexico's enchanting coastline more accessible than ever, just in time for spring break,” John Kirby, Spirit Airlines’ VP of networking planning, said in a statement. “We have a long history of serving Mexico, and Tulum's new airport is a great addition that will make it easier for our guests to get to the city and enjoy its beaches, history, and variety of unique experiences."

Both flights will run daily and launch on March 28, 2024. Those who choose to travel between April 10 and May 21 will be able to take advantage of an introductory budget fare of $149 each way, inclusive of taxes.

Tulum’s popularity is unprecedented. But will it last?

March 28 is also the date when the first international flights will be cleared to fly into Tulum’s new airport. Delta’s flight from Atlanta will be launching on the same date while planes from different parts of Mexico will have started flying in two months earlier in January.

Located on the tip of Mexico's Quintana Roo state and known for its Mayan history, Tulum had initially been popular with a certain type of wealthy traveler looking for out-of-the-way places (the only way to get there until the new airport opens is to fly into Cancun and drive the remaining 90 minutes by road.) But Tulum’s popularity started to soar when, around 2018, photos posted by popular travel influencers started to associate the resort with a certain prestige. Tulum has a population of just under 50,000 but saw more than two million visitors in 2022.

Gearing its new routes toward American spring breakers and tourists looking for some sun, Spirit also hopes its new Florida routes can serve as a gateway to Tulum for those coming in from other parts of the country.

“Florida serves as a gateway to the carrier's flights to Latin America and the Caribbean, and the new TQO service adds a one-stop option to guests traveling from 53 cities across the U.S.,” the airline said in announcing the two new routes.

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