Cancun airport on its way to becoming the best airport in Latin America

The airport of Cancun is promoting itself as the "number one" of the entire continent of Latin America. The airport receives four times more airlines than the one in Mexico City, 83 to be precise, and it already challenges other US terminals on the first place in the Americas.

New flights to Cancun were confirmed by airlines such as VivaAerobús, with charter or seasonal flights from cities such as New York, Cincinnati, Raleigh and Nashville
New flights to Cancun were confirmed by airlines such as VivaAerobús, with charter or seasonal flights from cities such as New York, Cincinnati, Raleigh and Nashville

"We are probably the airport with the largest number of airlines in America. I have my doubts about a couple of airports in the United States like Atlanta and Chicago, Los Angeles, maybe, but currently, 83 airlines operate in Cancun," says Carlos Trueba, general manager of the Cancun airport.

After the cancellation of the Texcoco airport and the postponement of the works in Santa Lucia, the Cancun airport could become the number one in the country in passenger mobilization, since it is the one that receives the most international passengers. In the first four months of 2018, the airport received 6.2 million foreign visitors, while Mexico City received 5.3 million.

Movement 24 hours a day

In 2018 the airport in Cancun received 25 million passengers, year in which more than 30 new flights and air routes were opened from the United States, Germany, Russia, Canada, Puerto Rico, Colombia, and Belgium. In the terminal of the Mexican capital, 24 airlines operate and it has an average of landings and takeoffs between 850 and 950, higher than the one in Cancún that has an average of between 400 and 600.

Currently, the Cancun airport has three terminals for commercial flights and one for private planes, as well as a business hotel in the gestation phase, which would have an offer of 120 rooms.

Trueba attributes this greater amount of traffic at the Mexico City airport, even though it has a much smaller number of airlines because it has a greater number of flights.

"The number of aircraft that move the capital is enormous; Now, we must not lose sight of the fact that the highest percentage of traffic in Mexico City, we are talking about 60 or almost reaching 70 percent, are domestic passengers. Mexico City represents 30.5 percent of Mexico's total traffic as a country," says the executive.

US traffic to Cancun has declined

Gonzalo del Peón, president of the hotel chain AMResorts, already announced at the time the drop of 10 percent of seats from the United States to Cancun, while destinations such as the Dominican Republic and Jamaica have growth of 15 percent.

This fall, however, has been offset by the growth of traffic, origins or markets, which are growing. Among the markets that register an increase stand out those of Canada, Central and South America and Europe that somehow are managing to compensate the loss that is generating the fall of the American market, due, mainly, to factors such as sargassum and insecurity.

There is also an announcement to start meetings with the main airlines in the United States to see first-hand the availability of plane seats to Cancun during the summer and winter. Plans include meetings not only with representatives of the commercial area of ​​the airlines but also with executives from the planning departments to learn firsthand about the scheduled frequencies and to determine if the availability of airplane seats to the Mexican Caribbean will be maintained.

Market share

The reorientation of the promotional campaigns that are deployed during the second half of 2019 will depend on the meetings held with the airlines depending on the routes, new flights or rearrangement of frequencies that are being programmed by the companies.

In March of this same year, Alex Zozaya, general director of Apple Leisure Group, assured that during 2018 the offer of seats of the airplanes from the United States towards Cancun diminished in 14% and for 2019 the number could increase.

Hotel rates have fallen due to the need to maintain market share, in addition to the mix of tourists that are arriving in the country is slowly displacing the American tourist, which is the largest tourist spill, and more and more travelers are arriving from other latitudes with a profile of lower purchasing power and therefore lower economic benefits.