You’ll be able to fly nonstop from the Triangle to Cancun, Mexico, again this winter, but only on Saturdays or over the holidays.
American Airlines will resume its seasonal service between Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Cancun on Nov. 5. The carrier will make one round trip each Saturday after that through March 25, leaving RDU in the morning and returning in the afternoon.
American has flown that route each winter since 2016.
JetBlue was also flying between RDU and Cancun until late last spring, when it suspended the flight as part of a broader overhaul to its schedule. But JetBlue will fly daily from the Triangle to Cancun from Dec. 24 through Jan. 4.
It was a JetBlue flight to Cancun in November 2020 that brought international travel back to RDU for the first time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Frontier Airlines has also flown nonstop between RDU and Cancun in the last year, but has not said whether it will bring the flights back.
Cancun will be one of two Caribbean destinations within a nonstop flight of RDU this winter. Bahamasair, the national airline of The Bahamas, will begin twice-weekly flights to Freeport, the main city on Grand Bahama island, on Nov. 17.
Vacation travel returns, but slowly
Leisure travel is still leading the rebound in the airline business at RDU. More than 1 million passengers passed through the airport in August, 22% more than the same month last year.
But the rebound has slowed, according to Mike Landguth, RDU’s president and CEO. Through June, passenger traffic was at 83% of pre-pandemic levels for the year, but that slipped to about 78% by the end of August.
“That’s an indication leisure travel slowed as summer drew to a close and business travel continues to lag,” Landguth said Thursday.
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