More travelers from around the world are descending on Los Angeles International Airport than ever before, even though domestic service remains challenged by record fuel costs and the declining value of the dollar, airport officials said Monday, the Daily Breeze reports.


LAX served more than 2.6 million international passengers during the first two months of 2008, a 4 percent increase from the same period last year and an overall record for the airport, according to Paul Haney, deputy executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that operates LAX.


As a result, airport officials and industry insiders are cautiously optimistic for a record-setting year for international travel.


"It's up by just a hair, but it shows that we have fully recovered from 9-11," Haney said. "Whether this sustains through the rest of the year remains to be seen, but we are off to a good start."


The news came the same day that V Australia announced plans to launch 10 weekly flights between LAX and Sydney beginning Dec. 15, with an introductory round-trip fare of $777. The Brisbane-based airline is the ninth new international carrier to announce or begin service at LAX over the last several months.


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