Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has seen significant growth in overseas air service with airlines adding over 160 international weekly flights during the last three years, airport officials said.

According to statistics, international traffic at LAX increased 7.5 percent during the last 12 months ending in August to 10.8 million passengers. But airport officials noted that the jump in international passengers is still below the 11.7 million, 12-month total ending August 2007 that occurred before the global economic downturn impacted air travel.

“Since late 2009, we have seen a slow increase in total domestic and international passenger volume due to some improvement in the global economy — especially in the international sector,” Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey said. “Promising indicators for the immediate future are the start of new service by existing airlines and airlines new to LAX. The next several months will confirm the extent to which the recent upward movement in traffic is the foundation of a sustained pattern.”

Since 2007, LAX has seen more new international flights than any other U.S. airport, except for New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), LAWA officials said.

During the past three years, 12 airlines, including four carriers that had not served LAX before (Airberlin, Emirates, Volaris and V Australia) began nonstop service to overseas destinations.

Seven additional airlines (including Turkish Airlines which has not served LAX before) are scheduled to start daily service to new destinations during the next few months or to increase service on existing routes.

Airport officials said the international air service already started during the past three years now generates an estimated $10.7 billion annually in economic benefits to the Southern California region.

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