Tulum International Airport: Progress Update with Photos

The Countdown is On to the Opening of the New International Airport in Tulum!

With just a few days before its official inauguration, the push is on to complete construction at the new Tulum International Airport. Quintana Roo Governor Mara Lezama Espinoza toured the facilities last week and provided some excellent photos of the work that has been done and what is yet to be completed. 

Tulum Airport tower

Construction of the new airport began in 2022, with a bold schedule targeting its inauguration on December 1st, 2023. Governor Lezama in collaboration with the Mexican government and military engineering teams, is exerting every effort to ensure that the Aeropuerto Internacional Felipe Carrillo Puerto does not only adhere to the promised timeline but is also fully prepared and safe for its inaugural flight.

With unprecedented support from Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Federal Government and the Secretary of National Defense, this project represents a significant undertaking, demonstrating a commitment to infrastructure development and efficient project management to meet the ambitious deadline.

Tulum International Airport Update

The Mayan Train Project is also scheduled to start inaugural trips in December of 2023 on limited sections of track throughout the Yucatan peninsula.

The new Tulum International Airport is scheduled to receive its first flight on December 1, 2023 with VivaAerobus bringing passengers from Felipe Ángeles International Airport (NLU) in Mexico City. 

Once the new Tulum Airport is completed, Quintana Roo will be the only state in Mexico to have 4 international airports. Quintana Roo is already home to three airports that welcome international flights, Cancun International Airport (CUN), Cozumel International Airport (CZM) and Chetumal International Airport (CTM). 

These airports serve as the primary gateways for tourists visiting the state of Quintana Roo and the broader Yucatán Peninsula. The Cancun International Airport carries the bulk of the weight when it comes to processing both domestic and foreign visitors. 

Tulum airport interior

Although the new Felipe Carillo Puerto International Airport will be open in time for the beginning of high season, it is not expected to alleviate the pressure on the Cancun airport until March when international flights will begin arriving from the United States and Canada.

The Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport is being touted as the first “green airport”. What that means exactly is yet to be revealed.

Tulum International Airport – Airlines And Destinations

As of November 2023, the following routes have been announced. Popular Mexican airlines, Aeromexico and VivaAerobus were the first airlines to commit to regular service of flights for several domestic routes. Viva Aerobus will be the very first airline with its inaugural flight scheduled to arrive in Tulum on December 1, 2023.

Tulum Airport Tower

In August 2023, Aeroméxico announced its intention to launch flights to the United States and Canada, with connections to Toronto, Chicago and San Francisco. As of November 2023, tickets have not yet been made available.

Delta Air Lines will be offering passengers direct flights to and from the new Tulum airport to its hub in Atlanta, Georgia. Delta Air Lines and Aeromexico are SkyTeam alliance members and operate frequent codeshares as part of a joint venture. Delta´s first international flight is tentatively planned for March 2024.

Joining the rush to the newest Riviera Maya airport, American Airlines, United Airlines and budget carrier, Spirit have all announced new routes from the United States to the newest airport on the Yucatan peninsula.

Domestic Flights to Tulum Airport

VivaAerobus: Mexico City (Benito Juárez and Felipe Ángeles) starting December 1, 2023
VivaAerobus: Monterrey starting December 1, 2023
Aeroméxico: Mexico City (Benito Juárez) 14 flights weekly beginning Dec. 1, 2023
Mexicana de Aviación: Mexico City (Felipe Ángeles) beginning Dec. 1, 2023
VivaAerobus: Guadalajara starting December 16, 2023
VivaAerobus: Tijuana beginning December 17, 2023

The new Tulum Airport will also act as a base for Mexicana Airlines which was purchased by the Mexican government earlier this year. With bases now in Tulum and Mexico City, the state-owned airline will offer reduced ticket prices to 20 destinations in Mexico.

International Flights to Tulum Airport

Delta: Atlanta (ATL) from March 2024
Spirit: Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Orlando (MCO) beginning March 28, 2024.
American Airlines: Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Charlotte (CLT) and Miami (MIA) from March 28, 2024
Unites Airlines: Chicago (ORD) and Houston (IAH) beginning March 31, 2024 and Los Angeles (LAX) from May 23, 2024.

Tulum International Airport Terminal

About Tulum’s New International Airport

The new Tulum Airport is a state-of-the-art international airport that, when complete, is expected to receive nearly 5.5 million passengers on up to 32,000 flights, employing over 15,000 people. After the Cancun Airport, it will become the second busiest airport in the region in terms of passenger traffic and arrivals. 

Once finished, the terminal will provide 13 gates for both domestic and international commercial aircraft, and a platform with space for 28 general and executive aircraft. Plans also include an enclosed hangar with 12 spaces to house private jets.

Tulum Airport Hanger

This new airport project, currently being built by Mexico´s Army Corps of Engineers, will be the fourth international airport to service this part of Mexico, is on track to be functioning (although not entirely complete) by the end of the year. Quintana Roo is already home to three airports that welcome international flights, Cancún International Airport (CUN), Cozumel International Airport (CZM) and Chetumal International Airport (CTM). 

Benefits of the New Tulum International Airport

The new Tulum Airport, officially known as Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport (TQO), is set to bring several benefits to the Riviera Maya and surrounding areas. 

Tulum International Airport Updated Photos

Increased Accessibility and Tourist Influx: The Tulum Airport is expected to significantly boost tourism in the region by providing a more convenient gateway to Tulum’s attractions, as well as to other growing tourist destinations like Bacalar and the Costa Maya. This increased accessibility will likely lead to a rise in tourist numbers, which given sufficient infrastructure, can have a positive impact on the local economy.

Economic Growth and Employment Opportunities: The airport is projected to process nearly 5.5 million passengers on up to 32,000 flights annually, creating over 15,000 jobs. This will contribute to economic growth in the area and provide numerous employment opportunities for locals. The new Tulum International Airport is good news for the real estate market, making it easier and faster for potential investors to access properties.

Relief for Cancún International Airport: The Tulum Airport will help ease the pressure on the nearby Cancún International Airport, which is currently the second busiest airport in Mexico. This redistribution of air traffic can lead to more efficient operations and potentially better travel experiences for visitors. An international airport in Tulum will significantly reduce travel time for visitors to Tulum, Bacalar, the Costa Maya and other destinations to the south.

Enhanced Security and Emergency Response: The airport will also function as a multipurpose military facility, strengthening national airspace security. Additionally, it will serve as a first-responder base for emergencies such as forest fires, hurricanes, and other natural disasters, enhancing the region’s capacity to handle such events.

Tren Maya Map

Integration with the Mayan Train Project: The Tulum International Airport is planned to integrate with the Mayan Train, a massive railway project connecting tourist attractions and cultural sites across the Yucatán Peninsula. This integration with the Tren Maya will provide travelers with direct access to more destinations and opportunities to explore the Mayan world.

Overall, the Tulum Airport is poised to be a game-changer for the entire Yucatan Peninsula, enhancing accessibility to the Mexican Caribbean, the Riviera Maya region and top destinations in the surrounding area, and helping to distribute the economic benefits of tourism more evenly throughout the region.

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