Delta Launching Flights To Tulum’s New Airport

Delta Launching Flights To Tulum’s New Airport

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Delta Air Lines has become the first airline from the United States to announce service to Tulum. The airline first revealed plans for this route last week, but the schedule has now been published, and flights are on sale.

Delta adding Atlanta to Tulum flight as of March 2024

As of March 28, 2024, Delta will be launching a daily, year-round, nonstop flight between Atlanta (ATL) and Tulum (TQO). The flight will operate with the following schedule:

DL1787 Atlanta to Tulum departing 11:10AM arriving 1:00PM
DL1788 Tulum to Atlanta departing 2:25PM arriving 5:55PM

The service will be operated with a Boeing 737-800, featuring 160 seats. The flight will cover a distance of 949 miles in each direction, and is blocked at 2hr50min southbound and 2hr30min northbound.

For context, Tulum is getting a brand-new international airport, which will be opening in the coming months. Previously, people looking to travel to Tulum had to fly into Cancun (CUN), and then make the roughly two hour drive to the popular vacation destination. So this will cut travel time considerably for many, and that’s exciting.

While Delta is the first US airline to announce this service, I imagine we’ll see several US airlines add similar routes soon. Here’s how Delta’s SVP of Network Planning, Joe Esposito, describes this new route:

“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. 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.” 

I’m not sure I get how Delta is “uniquely” positioned to give customers access from the US to Tulum, when American and United will almost certainly do the same? I often find these quotes from executives to be silly, because at best they say very little, and at worst, they make no sense.

Delta will fly between Atlanta and Tulum

Details of Tulum’s new international airport

The new Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport in Tulum has been a long time coming. Bidding for construction of the airport started well over a decade ago, in 2011. However, nothing happened for many years, and when Andrés Manuel López Obrador became president of Mexico in 2018, the project wasn’t a priority.

However, with Tulum’s increasing popularity (especially since the start of the pandemic) and capacity limitations at Cancun Airport, the project has once again been emphasized. Construction started in 2022, and is expected to be completed in late 2023. That’s a mighty fast airport construction project!

As it currently stands, domestic operations at the airport should start in December 2023, with Aeromexico and Viva Aerobus being the two first airlines to serve the airport. I can’t help but wonder if that timeline might still be a bit optimistic, given the short construction timeline. Regardless, it sounds like things should be up and running by early next year.

Viva Aerobus will also fly to Tulum Airport

Bottom line

Tulum’s Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport will soon commence operations, and Delta is the first US airline to announce plans to fly there. As of March 2024, Delta intends to operate daily flights from Atlanta with Boeing 737s. I imagine in the very near future we’ll see similar announcements from American, United, and probably some other US airlines as well.

What do you make of service to the new airport in Tulum?

Conversations (54)
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  1. WontonDisregard Guest

    What is the over/under on the airport being completed anytime near the announced completion date?

  2. Phillip Diamond

    At the moment neither Flying Blue or Flying Club recognise TQO or Tulum as a valid airport!

  3. Mark Guest

    Was there an update? I’m missing why this article posted again.

    1. Phillip Diamond

      And the flights are now available to book!

  4. Brian Guest

    Would seem an easy connection for AA from DFW and MIA and UL from Houston.

  5. Lewis Guest

    This is much closer to the resorts in Akumal area. I hope airlines start service from DFW,

    1. Tim Dunn Diamond

      you realize that ATL is closer to Tulum than DFW?

    2. Leigh Guest

      WTF does that matter as it pertains to the comment about proximity of Tulum to the resorts? Read the comment. Stupid.

    3. Tim Dunn Diamond

      did you actually read the second sentence?

    4. Leigh Guest

      Spin. That had nothing to do with his intent and your reply…completely different. Lack of logic on your part.

    5. Tim Dunn Diamond

      leigh,
      I truly have to laugh at how triggered you get by everything you write.
      The simple fact is that DL @ATL is the 2nd largest hub to Latin America by ASMs behind AA @MIA. It is also the 3rd largest distance of the major US carrier hubs to Latin America behind MIA and not far behind IAH.
      DL @ATL is also the world's largest hub and also the largest US international...

      leigh,
      I truly have to laugh at how triggered you get by everything you write.
      The simple fact is that DL @ATL is the 2nd largest hub to Latin America by ASMs behind AA @MIA. It is also the 3rd largest distance of the major US carrier hubs to Latin America behind MIA and not far behind IAH.
      DL @ATL is also the world's largest hub and also the largest US international hub by ASMs.
      You and others have got nuts trying to convince others and yourselves that DL is not in a great position to start this route when in fact they have every reason to be first out of the gate and will do well on it.
      If AA and UA add something, wonderful but AA is far more likely to add MIA than DFW.
      and until someone else adds service DL has the only, ie unique, position in accessing Tulum

    6. Leigh Guest

      The guy was writing about the proximity from Tulum Intl Airport to the resorts. Period. Do you have no sense?

      You’re smart, but sometimes act like high school age to protect your ego

    7. Tim Dunn Guest

      Your selective inability to read and comprehend the 2nd sentence is indicative of elementary age

    8. OCTinPHL Diamond

      Tim - again, it is your inability to ever admit you are wrong or that you misread something, etc. that makes you a PIA.

      The second sentence had nothing to do with ATL being closer to Tulum, etc. Leigh was correct - WTF does it matter? Maybe the OP is AA EXP. Maybe he lives in DFW. ATL being closer had nothing to do with his post. Your DL spin on everything blinds you.

  6. Ryan Guest

    Sorry to see this airport open at all. What once made Tulum special has been totally lost over the past 5-10 years. There’s absolutely no regard for the environment or responsible development - hilarious to see Delta claiming that it’s an eco-friendly destination (anything but these days…). Tulum has just become another overpriced, over touristed location where the authorities turn a blind eye in the name of the almighty dollar.

  7. RTRWhoDat Guest

    Why is Mexico so supportive of this, but stopping a new airport for Mexico City after already spending billions on it? No way CUN is more in need of capacity to justify another airport than MEX…

    1. Rob M Guest

      AMLO stopped one airport in MEX (NAICM) but built another (AIFA). Because...PRI bad, Morena good. /s

      Sarcasm aside, part of the attractiveness of the Tulum airport for the Mexican govt is the airport is military-controlled. Part of AMLO's strategy to make AIFA relevant is to make it the hub for lesser served routes to airports controlled by the military. The revived Mexicana airlines is also part of this strategy.

      AIFA has been controversial to anyone...

      AMLO stopped one airport in MEX (NAICM) but built another (AIFA). Because...PRI bad, Morena good. /s

      Sarcasm aside, part of the attractiveness of the Tulum airport for the Mexican govt is the airport is military-controlled. Part of AMLO's strategy to make AIFA relevant is to make it the hub for lesser served routes to airports controlled by the military. The revived Mexicana airlines is also part of this strategy.

      AIFA has been controversial to anyone not part of the Morena party. It is well outside the city, still lacks good public transit, it had environmental issues, and had zero appeal to international carriers besides Copa. So the government has been pushing domestic carriers and forcing cargo carriers to use the airport in an effort to reduce traffic at MEX.

      IMO, they should have stuck with NAICM (plans looked beautiful, and cheaper/more convenient in the long run) or refocused efforts on Toluca, which is about the same distance from the business district in Mexico City

    2. Braeden Dilger Guest

      To add a bit more context, building the NAICM (Nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de Mexico, or New Mexico City International Airport) (championed by the previous corrupt and unpopular PRI president) involved destroying the last remaining remnants of the Lago de Texcoco, which was once was a huge lake on which the vast majority of Mexico City is now built.

      Every politician needs a banner issue and this was AMLO's. Don't agree with it...

      To add a bit more context, building the NAICM (Nuevo Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de Mexico, or New Mexico City International Airport) (championed by the previous corrupt and unpopular PRI president) involved destroying the last remaining remnants of the Lago de Texcoco, which was once was a huge lake on which the vast majority of Mexico City is now built.

      Every politician needs a banner issue and this was AMLO's. Don't agree with it personally but finding a spot to build a new, large airport within a densely populated former lake located at 7+ thousand feet in a valley is not an easy task. The new 'plan' (if there is one), is to run the AIFA (new airport that was built in Hidalgo, about an hour outside México City) in concert with AICM Benito Juarez, with a heavy focus on Cargo and other such. Realistically, I think it makes more sense for AIFA to take over the international market and cargo and for the AICM to target domestic.

  8. DenB Diamond

    Great alternative to CUN for regulars going to Playa. I'll certainly try it

    1. evan Guest

      Do you think it's more convenient to Playa del Carmen? I was hoping it would be, but it seems like a longer drive from this airport, which is southwest of Tulum.

    2. DenB Diamond

      In theory it should be longer, because it's farther. However, last winter the drive between Playa and CUN was nearly three times its proper length, owing to stop-and-go road construction. CUN is overcrowded and was built in 1852 or something. The one lounge (per terminal) is a hutch, telling people with straight face to join their 2.5 hour "waiting list" for admittance.
      TQO will be less popular initially, when only early adopters will know...

      In theory it should be longer, because it's farther. However, last winter the drive between Playa and CUN was nearly three times its proper length, owing to stop-and-go road construction. CUN is overcrowded and was built in 1852 or something. The one lounge (per terminal) is a hutch, telling people with straight face to join their 2.5 hour "waiting list" for admittance.
      TQO will be less popular initially, when only early adopters will know about it. I'll favour it heavily, until I experience a reason not to.

    3. JD Guest

      CUN was built in 1852? Forgot your medicine again? Cancun resort didn't exist over 100 years after that date ..

    4. Dave Walker Guest

      The drive between PDC and CUN is back to normal.

    5. Dave Walker Guest

      I live in PDC and travel to Atlanta from CUN up to 6 times a year for business. No way I will use this new "Tulum" airport instead of CUN. The traffic problems between PDC and CUN are done. I drove past this thing last week on the way to Bacalar, and does not even have a paved road yet from 307.

  9. Sam Guest

    AS from SEA or LAX would be a welcome addition th their Mexico destinations

    1. Robert Fahr Guest

      A year from now, every US and Canadian airline will fly into Tulum.

  10. Franklin Guest

    I hope that the new airport in Tulum will continue Cancun's grand tradition of charging US$30 for a 10 minute taxi ride to your lodgings.

    1. Regis Guest

      The government should bust the local taxi mafia and allow Uber to pick up passengers at CUN. A ride from the Zona Hotelera to CUN is $5 using ridesharing.

  11. Tim Dunn Diamond

    Personally, I find it silly that Ben would quibble over a company's use of the word "unique" when it is clear that Delta has announced its intention to provide the first US carrier service to Tulum. Regardless of whether Ben thinks that AA or UA or any Mexican airlines announce service, DL intends to be in on ground floor of a new Mexican airport, which does make its claim of offering "unique" service accurate. As...

    Personally, I find it silly that Ben would quibble over a company's use of the word "unique" when it is clear that Delta has announced its intention to provide the first US carrier service to Tulum. Regardless of whether Ben thinks that AA or UA or any Mexican airlines announce service, DL intends to be in on ground floor of a new Mexican airport, which does make its claim of offering "unique" service accurate. As soon as AA or UA announce service, then DL's claims are no longer valid.

    But let's be honest. Ben is a smart guy and runs a site that includes reader comments because he wants to generate page clicks which is part of the financial formula for the site. Comparative and superlative words invariably evoke discussion among airline fans which are some of the most fiercely loyal around any industry.

    Companies make superlative and comparative statements because they see value in trying to distinguish themselves to customers.
    United loves to make comparative and superlative statements about itself relative to its competitors and I guarantee you that UA execs will lead the industry in that respect if someone bothered to count the number of superlative or comparative statements made on investor calls - which are now underway as part of the 3rd quarter earnings season.

    Delta is part of a joint venture with Aeromexico and has good reason to support its partner which has a delicate balancing act with their government. Delta has also committed to aggressive growth in Latin America now that both Aeromexico and Latam, two of the largest carriers in Latin America and both of which are Delta JV partners, rebuild themselves post bankruptcy.
    Delta has announced all kinds of new routes to Latin America and will continue to do so; they specifically said this week during their own earnings call that Latin America is performing very well because of their two JVs and they intend to continue to grow.

    Tulum is just part of that process. It shouldn't be hard to fill a 737 and the cost of using that airplane relative to other opportunities is much lower than to start, say, JFK-HND, IF Delta decides to go after that route.

    Airlines, like all businesses, use language to distinguish themselves. Delta's use of "unique" is accurate.

    1. Kredie Guest

      Nonsense. Is Delta "uniquely positioned" because it has exclusive access to the Tulum airport or what?

      I must say I now mostly come to OMAAT to read Tim Dunn's comments. It's another level.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      then you and I are both accomplishing the purposes of bringing revenue to Ben's site.
      I like what he does. I don't agree w/ him about everything but I am happy to stimulate the conversation. which isn't lost on him or anyone else.

      There will always be those low-quality participants that are incapable of contributing to the discussion so they attack participants.

      As much as anyone wants to argue, until another airline offers...

      then you and I are both accomplishing the purposes of bringing revenue to Ben's site.
      I like what he does. I don't agree w/ him about everything but I am happy to stimulate the conversation. which isn't lost on him or anyone else.

      There will always be those low-quality participants that are incapable of contributing to the discussion so they attack participants.

      As much as anyone wants to argue, until another airline offers nonstop service from the US to Tulum, Delta is in a "unique" position. that is just simply factual

      Ben's hope or expectation that AA and UA will serve Tulum is no different than my thoughts or those of others regarding Delta or American from New York to East Asia.

    3. MaxPower Diamond

      Wow, tim
      Already backing off your delta JFK-HND absolutist predictions now that Ed told delta employees the pdx slot will go to aa or UA?
      How sly of you to act like it was always only a possibility after your previous rants on the topic only a few hours and days ago lol

      But five paragraphs in a response to Ben’s word choice about unique?
      Really? You need a life.
      With...

      Wow, tim
      Already backing off your delta JFK-HND absolutist predictions now that Ed told delta employees the pdx slot will go to aa or UA?
      How sly of you to act like it was always only a possibility after your previous rants on the topic only a few hours and days ago lol

      But five paragraphs in a response to Ben’s word choice about unique?
      Really? You need a life.
      With all respect to the am/dl partnership, I don’t think an Atlanta-Tulum nonstop has much to do with AM but rather a bunch of wannabe rich Americans that want cheap drugs and a bohemian beach bar vibe.

    4. Roberto Guest

      You’re such a psychopath. Good lord.

    5. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Timmy: Get a life. Stop acting like Your stupid comments bring meaningful revenue and/or profit to Ben or anyone else. Your ranting into a vacuum dude.

    6. D3Kingg Guest

      @Benjamin Guttery

      I know hoes that vacation in Tulum.
      Tim dunn knows a lot about Delta.

    7. Leigh Diamond

      Oh gawd...Ben is correct. It's just another standard short-haul international route with a 737...what's unique about that? And Viva Aerobus and Volaris announced routes months ago, so it's not like DL is truly on the ground floor.

      What's ironic is you use the word "quibble"...when it's YOU YOU YOU that quibbles...geez

    8. Tim Dunn Diamond

      if no other airline flies from the US to Tulum, then the route is indeed unique. It doesn't matter what type aircraft they use and it sure isn't a very complex concept - but it clearly went over your head.

    9. Burger_King New Member

      No comment about United’s “ancient 777s”?

      How did you not work this into the conversation Timmy?

      #missedopportunity

    10. Roberto Guest

      @Burger_King isn’t that funny right? He loves to throw out fuel efficiency of the A339/359 compared to UA & AA’s 772’s…. But if you mention DL’s 66 767’s, they’re paid for and fuel efficiency doesn’t matter. It’s such a double standard when it’s convenient for his manifestos.

    11. Jason Guest

      it's fun to poke this bear. The DL spokesman didnt say that this is a "unique" flight, in that it is the only flight from the U.S. to Tulum, thereby making it unique. That is how you seem to interpret this. The spokesman said that Delta is "uniquely positioned" to offer this flight. That's what Ben is quibbling about. And I agree with Ben. There's nothing that makes Delta "uniquely positioned" to offer this flight....

      it's fun to poke this bear. The DL spokesman didnt say that this is a "unique" flight, in that it is the only flight from the U.S. to Tulum, thereby making it unique. That is how you seem to interpret this. The spokesman said that Delta is "uniquely positioned" to offer this flight. That's what Ben is quibbling about. And I agree with Ben. There's nothing that makes Delta "uniquely positioned" to offer this flight. You mention Delta's relationship with Aeromexico. That will have nothing to do with putting Americans who want to vacation in Mexico on this flight. Delta can accomplish that easily without Aeromexico's help - most of the people on this flight will probably barely be aware of Aeromexico's existence. It'll just be catering to Americans looking for easier access to the Tulum beaches. And again, nothing about Delta makes them "uniquely positioned" to sell this "unique" flight for now. All the U.S. legacy carriers, and airlines like Spirit and Frontier, do just fine toting U.S. tourists to the Cancun region. They'll all do it. Delta is no more "uniquely positioned" to do so than any other airline, they're just the first and probably not the last to do so. Ben is right in pointing this out as just mindless PR spin from a DL executive.

    12. Tim Dunn Diamond

      I'll remind you of that when United incessantly brags about its network during its earnings call on this Thursday - and they absolutely will do it.
      Either UA has a unique position as the only US airline serving SIN and HKG or AA and DL serve those cities just as effectively as UA through their JV hubs in other parts of Asia.
      DL has a unique position w/ new proposed service nonstop from...

      I'll remind you of that when United incessantly brags about its network during its earnings call on this Thursday - and they absolutely will do it.
      Either UA has a unique position as the only US airline serving SIN and HKG or AA and DL serve those cities just as effectively as UA through their JV hubs in other parts of Asia.
      DL has a unique position w/ new proposed service nonstop from the US to Tulum unless you think that AA and UA's service is the same thing to CUN.

      It really isn't hard to grasp but you fall hard on anything that I write.

    13. Burger_King New Member

      You do realize that airlines are HORRIBLE investments, right?

      Not sure why you always have to talk about earnings calls. Delta is down on the 2Y and 5Y. In case you are curious, the 10Y return lags even just keeping your money in a basic money market account for the 10 years.

      Does Delta make money? Sure. Does it matter for investors? Absolutely not…just look at the returns.

      Does it matter to readers of a travel blog?

    14. Tim Dunn Diamond

      whopper boy
      you clearly don't understand that investments have time horizons.
      DAL far outperformed the market for a number of time periods since covid.
      Investing is as much about WHEN to invest and when to get out as it is about the particular investment or fund in which you invest.

      And to those below, of course other hubs including in Texas could make better gateways to the Yucatan peninsula, you might check...

      whopper boy
      you clearly don't understand that investments have time horizons.
      DAL far outperformed the market for a number of time periods since covid.
      Investing is as much about WHEN to invest and when to get out as it is about the particular investment or fund in which you invest.

      And to those below, of course other hubs including in Texas could make better gateways to the Yucatan peninsula, you might check your geography. ATL is closer to Tulum than DFW and only a couple dozen miles further than from IAH.

      The simple fact is that no other airline HAS announced service to Tulum from the US while DAL has.
      When someone else announces service, Delta won't have be uniquely positioned any more.
      It isn't a hard concept to understand

    15. Scudder Diamond

      Dunn's crappy reading comprehension tells us a lot about his general credibility.

    16. Jason Guest

      Not really sure why you're talking about something that hasnt happened. We dont know what UA or AA might say about their Asian services. Neither Delta nor American fly to Singapore with their own metal nonstop from the United States. United does, it is unique in that aspect.

      As of now, Delta is the only one that has announced a nonstop flight from the United States to Tulum. It is unique in that aspect.

      ...

      Not really sure why you're talking about something that hasnt happened. We dont know what UA or AA might say about their Asian services. Neither Delta nor American fly to Singapore with their own metal nonstop from the United States. United does, it is unique in that aspect.

      As of now, Delta is the only one that has announced a nonstop flight from the United States to Tulum. It is unique in that aspect.

      We also know that Delta said it's "uniquely positioned" to serve this market.

      Not sure why that is, and you havent really explained that either. Houston (United), Miami/Dallas/Charlotte (American), and other hubs could easily serve Tulum as well. Let's see if they do. Nothing about Atlanta makes it "uniquely positioned" to serve a market that most others could easily serve.

      I never said anything about AA or UA's service to CUN, not sure what you're (incorrectly) inferring.

      For now, Delta has a unique route, let's see if it remains that way.

    17. Roberto Guest

      I laugh at “uniquely positioned” when IAH/DFW are geographically superior locations for a new route like this.

    18. Burger_King New Member

      Thanks for that response Timmy. That statement alone tells me how much of a novice you are when it comes to anything relating to investing. I think it’s laughable that you, over the professionals, know WHEN to invest in an asset class. If this is actually the case, then you are without a doubt a multi-billionaire by now….

      It’s amazing to see just how delusional you are across so many topics.

  12. sharon Guest

    This is much needed. Hopefully, United brings service and American as well, presumably from Houston/Newark and Dallas, respectively.

    Hopefully, this will help relieve Cancun which has just simply been over capacity for some time. Those staying in the southern riviera should take advantage of this service as well.

  13. geofff Guest

    Over/under on how long it takes to destroy the exit to and from with vendors, corrupt cab and tour services and just general mayhem so it resembles CUN?
    I say 10 days.

    1. Sel, D. Guest

      Under. The taxis in Tulum are even worse than Cancun and Playa. Curious how that will play out at Tulum airport.

      COZ still peaceful and great.

    2. VT-CIE Diamond

      Cozumel is CZM, not COZ.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

RTRWhoDat Guest

Why is Mexico so supportive of this, but stopping a new airport for Mexico City after already spending billions on it? No way CUN is more in need of capacity to justify another airport than MEX…

2
BenjaminGuttery Diamond

Timmy: Get a life. Stop acting like Your stupid comments bring meaningful revenue and/or profit to Ben or anyone else. Your ranting into a vacuum dude.

2
Roberto Guest

You’re such a psychopath. Good lord.

2
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