These New Airports Are Making Bucket-List Destinations More Accessible

The most difficult leg of a trip—especially on long international journeys—is making that last flight connection or lengthy ground transfer to your final destination. Those final couple hours in transit, when the effects of jet lag are rearing up and patience is running thin, can be laborious and time-consuming, but are often necessary in order to reach some of the world’s most remote destinations.

Now, a new crop of well-located airports seeks to make some of these historically out-of-the-way regions more accessible to international travel. Forget about the shuttle bus or puddle-jumper flight: these eight new airports—which have either just opened or are currently under construction–will make it that much easier than ever to reach bucket-list destinations around the world.

Tulum, Mexico

Thanks to the new Felipe Carrillo Puerto International Airport, it is easier than ever for international travelers to reach the seaside escape of Tulum, one of Mexico’s most popular tourist hubs. The airport officially opened to domestic flights in December 2023 and will welcome international airlines beginning March 28, 2024. Multiple routes from American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue, and Spirit will launch throughout the year. Previously, travelers would typically need to fly into Cancún and drive about 80 miles south to access Tulum, a two-hour road trip that the new facility will mercifully eliminate for many passengers.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

In November 2023, Cambodia inaugurated a brand new airport in Siem Reap, the gateway city to Angkor Wat, the UNESCO-listed ancient temple complex that’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. The new airport, which replaces an older Siem Reap facility built in the 1930s, is about 25 miles east of the Angkor Wat temple complex. That’s further away from the archeological site than the original airport, which sat just over three miles away, but the new airport will make it easier for more tourists to access Angkor Wat. Thanks to its size, it can handle larger planes used on nonstop international flights and accommodate up to seven million passengers annually, with plans to grow that capacity to a whopping 40 million people per year by 2040.

The new Amalfi Coast airport opens this July, with the first flights operated by the Spanish airline Volotea.

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Starting this summer, visiting the candy-colored buildings perched high above the azure waters of the Amalfi Coast will be less of a headache for travelers. That’s because the popular tourist spot in Southern Italy is finally getting its own commercial airport. The town is converting what used to be a military airport, and later a private airport, to a facility to be used by everyday travelers. The first flights are set to take off on July 11 and will be operated by Spanish airline Volotea, with routes from Nantes, France, and Cagliri, Sardinia, according to CNN. However, the complete renovation is not scheduled to be complete until 2026, and other airlines and routes will be added along the way.

Source: Condé Nast Traveler