Eight times a week, travelers arrive at Los Angeles International Airport after a long journey from Sydney, Australia, eager to stretch their legs and spend money at tourist attractions, hotels and restaurants, the Los Angeles Times reports.


These visitors, about 380 a day who spill out into the sunshine from Qantas Airlines flights and make Southern California their destination, stay in the area three weeks on average, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. They contribute $183 million a year to the region's economy.


Come next month, Qantas will be taking these flights, and their multimillion-dollar economic benefit, to San Francisco, although its other 42 weekly flights from Sydney and elsewhere to LAX will continue.


The move is just one example of a little-noticed shift in lucrative international air service away from crowded LAX to newer facilities in San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York. Since 2000, LAX has lost 12% of the seats on its weekly international departures, while other major U.S. gateways posted gains in service to foreign destinations.


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