Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) saw a 5.4-percent increase in passenger volume during the first three months of this year compared to the same period last year.

Domestic traffic rose 4.5 percent to approximately 9.6 million passengers from approximately 9.2 million during the first quarter last year, airport officials announced. International passenger traffic rose 7.5 percent to about 3.7 million passengers during first quarter 2010 compared to about 3.5 million passengers during the same period in 2009, officials said.

Total air cargo volume for the first quarter of 2010 was up 24.6 percent with 444,653 tons, compared to 356,665 tons last year.

“Since late last year we have seen a slow increase in passenger volume due to some improvement in the economy further assisted by additional service on existing routes from airlines like Continental, VAustralia and American Eagle,” Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey said.

“A promising indicator for the immediate future is Alitalia’s decision to launch LAX to Rome service this summer and Allegiant Airlines’ expansion of service domestically. The next several months will confirm the extent to which recent upward movement in traffic is the foundation of a sustained pattern.”

LAX is the sixth busiest airport in the world, offering more than 565 daily flights to 81 destinations in the U.S. and over 1,000 weekly nonstop flights to 65 international destinations.