February 4 2019  |  Airlines & Airports

Los Angeles International Airport reports record passengers for 2018

By Mary Jane Pittilla

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) set a new all-time record for passenger traffic in 2018 with 87.5 million travelers, driven by continued growth in international destinations, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) reported.

The passenger total increased 3.52% over 2017, shattering the previous record of 84.6 million travelers. International passenger traffic continues to slightly outpace overall traffic growth at LAX, with a record-setting 26 million international travelers last year.

“LAX’s amazing success is due in large part to the continuing investment Los Angeles is making in modernizing our airport and improving the passenger experience. As more terminals are renovated, and the new people-mover opens, our success and popularity as a destination will only increase,” said Los Angeles City Council member Joe Buscaino, Chair of the Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee.

Top international markets included London, Mexico City and Seoul, while New York (JFK/Newark), San Francisco, Chicago and Las Vegas were the most popular US markets.

“We continue to see the effect of an improving economy, more interest in air travel, competitive fares, and new service and flights at LAX,” said Sean Burton, President, Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners.

“The passenger growth at LAWA reflects the strength of the local economy and demand for travel,” said Deborah Flint, CEO, LAWA. “With record tourism numbers and our improvement in guest experience ratings, we are on the right course and we reinforce our commitment to providing the essential improvements that will create gold-standard experiences for the decades ahead.”

For 2018, the total passenger count at LAX was 87,534,384. That total comprises 61,480,817 domestic passengers (up from 59,614,616 in 2017) and 26,053,567 international passengers (versus 24,944,160 in 2017).

Passenger traffic has grown 31.2% from 2014 to 2018, maintaining LAX’s position as the second-busiest commercial airport in the country.

Some of the significant investments at LAX in 2018 included the completion of Southwest Airlines’ US$516 million renovation of Terminal 1; United Airlines neared completion of its US$578 million project to improve T7/T8; Delta Air Lines broke ground on its US$1.86 billion project to rebuild T2 and T3; and American Airlines celebrated the ground-breaking for its US$1.6 billion improvement projects at T4 and T5.

That momentum will continue in 2019, as LAWA will break ground on major projects, including the Automated People Mover, and Intermodal Transportation Facility-West, comprising the Landside Access Modernization Program.

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