LAX passenger traffic up compared to last year

Los Angeles International Airport officials have announced that nearly 5 percent more passengers passed through LAX during the first half of the year compared to the same time last year.

About 28.3 million passengers went through the airport from January through June — up 4.9 percent over the same period last year, airport officials said.

The 20.5 million passengers taking domestic flights went up 3.4 percent, while and 7.8 million passengers took international flights, up 9 percent.

June was the 10th month in a row that passenger volume at LAX increased, but airport officials noted that 2009 passenger volume at LAX was the lowest in a decade because of the economic recession.

"Since late last year, we have seen a slow increase in passenger volume due to some improvement in the economy, further assisted by added service on existing routes from several of the domestic and international airlines, and the introduction of new flights in June by Alitalia to Rome,'' said Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, which operates LAX.

"The next several months will confirm the extent to which recent upward movement in traffic is the foundation of a sustained pattern,'' she added.

Air cargo tonnage increased 24.8 percent during the first six months of the year, compared to the same period last year. Air mail tonnage rose by 19.1 percent, and freight by 25.1 percent.

LAX is the seventh busiest airport in the world, offering more than 565 daily flights to 81 destinations, and more than 1,000 weekly nonstop flights to 66 international destinations.