Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) experienced a 5.4-percent increase in total passenger traffic in the first six months of this year compared with the same time last year, recently released statistics show.

Passenger volume at the airport jumped to approximately 29.9 million passengers during the first half of this year from about 28.3 million during the same period in 2010, according to statistics.

The airport saw a 4-percent rise in international passenger traffic to about 8.1 million passengers from about 7.8 million last year, while domestic traffic grew 5.9 percent to approximately 21.8 million passengers this year from 20.6 million in 2010.

During the first six months of 2011, total air cargo tonnage dropped 2.3 percent from 949,287 in 2010 to 927,713, while freight dropped nearly 3 percent from 915,255 tons in 2010 to 887,883 tons this year. However, airport officials noted that air mail increased 17 percent this year to 39,830 tons from 34,032 tons in the first half of last year.

“The steady upward trend of international passenger volume at LAX during the first six months of 2011 belies the fact that LAX experienced a significant drop-off in air travel and cargo trade with Japan that occurred following the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in March,” said Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, owner/operator of LAX.

“The decline in passengers and cargo trade with Japan, one of LAX’s busiest air service routes, was balanced by the introduction of new foreign air carriers, such as Turkish Airlines and Iberia, as well as new overseas destinations for existing LAX carriers, such as American and United airlines to Shanghai.”

In June, domestic traffic at LAX rose 6.4 percent to approximately 4.1 million passengers from 3.9 million passengers in June 2010, while international volume increased 4.8 percent to nearly 1.5 million passengers from 1.4 million passengers in June of last year.

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