Travel has been weird for the past few years, but one already-popular destination has been even hotter: Mexico. The number of people flying between the US and Mexico last month was 33% higher than pre-pandemic. (Compare that to domestic travel, which is up just 2%.)
That surge in popularity has made finding cheap flights to Mexico tougher, at least on some routes and dates. But there’s good news: We may be awash in cheap Mexico flights soon.
New flight routes to Mexico after 2+ year hiatus
The US Federal Aviation Administration downgraded Mexico’s aviation safety rating to Category 2 in May 2021. But last month, the FAA returned Mexico to Category 1 status, a move that allows Mexican airlines to resume adding new routes to the US.
Major uptick in new flights to Mexico
With Category 1 restored, airlines are opening the floodgates. Aeromexico this month announced 17 new US-Mexico routes, including departures from NYC, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and elsewhere. Budget carrier Viva Aerobus announced five new US destinations, including Austin, Denver, Miami, Oakland, and Orlando. And Delta just announced a new route from Atlanta to Tulum starting in March 2024. In total, the number of US-Mexico flights over the next 6 months is over 10%+ higher than the same period a year ago, according to Cirium.
New airline and new airports in Mexico
Historic airline Mexicana, which ceased operations in 2010, is relaunching later this year with an initial focus on domestic Mexico flights. A second major airport in Mexico City (NLU) is allowing airlines to add capacity. And the popular tourist destination Tulum is scheduled to open its new airport (TQO) in December 2023.
Why is this all great news for travelers? Because the single most important driver of cheap fares is how much competition there is between airlines. More flights = cheaper flights.
Mexico has always been a popular destination for American travelers, but for the past few years, there’s been an artificially low amount of competition. That’s about to change.