The itch to travel and explore after multiple years of uncertainty is leading to a bounceback at one of the world’s busiest airports.
Officials from LAX reported a total of 5,877,180 travelers in October 2022, up from 4,848,035 during the same month of 2021 — an increase of more than 21 percent.
That increase is largely driven by international travelers who are returning to the United States. Many international travelers either avoided traveling to the U.S. or were prohibited from doing so during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But now with increased access to vaccines, various treatment options and reduced restrictions for international passengers, travelers are returning to the U.S. in droves and LAX is seeing the benefit.
From January through October 2021, more than 54 million travelers went through LAX, while year-over-year international traffic nearly doubled.
It’s the busiest fall season for the Los Angeles International Airport since 2019, according to Justin Erbacci, CEO of Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA).
“The combination of new facilities, new technology and new airlines are adding up to an improved airport journey from the curb to the gate, and we are excited to show off more of our modernization in the months ahead,” Erbacci said.
LAX is in the midst of a multibillion dollar improvement project across the entire airport.
Overall, passenger traffic at LAX is up 44.04% compared with the same time in 2021. The number of international travelers during that time is up 122.97% compared to 2021 while domestic travelers are up 29.09%.
Despite the uptick from 2021, the airport will still likely have a ways to go before reaching pre-COVID totals. In 2019, 88.1 million passengers traveled out of the airport.