Flying High: Travelers check in at an LAX terminal of Delta Air Lines, which was the No. 3 carrier last year at the L.A. area’s four airports with 13.7 million passengers.

Flying High: Travelers check in at an LAX terminal of Delta Air Lines, which was the No. 3 carrier last year at the L.A. area’s four airports with 13.7 million passengers. Photo by Ringo Chiu.

Los Angeles International Airport’s passenger traffic surged 5.6 percent in May, despite the largest series of airline terminal relocations in U.S. history.

According to the monthly traffic report from Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that runs LAX, nearly 7.2 million passengers went through the airplane gates at LAX, up from nearly 6.8 million in May of last year.

For the first five months of 2017, nearly 32.9 million passengers went through the gates at LAX, up 5.7 percent from the same period a year ago. That puts LAX on a pace to top 86 million passengers this year, which would set another record high after passing 80 million in 2016.

All this came despite the relocation of 21 airlines to different terminals last month, led by Delta Air Lines’ move from Terminals 5 and 6 to Terminals 2 and 3 ahead of its $1.9 billion renovation of Terminal 3. Fears of major passenger and flight disruptions never materialized, thanks to extensive signage and staff brought in to help people navigate the airline switches.

The number of passengers flying internationally surged 11 percent in May to nearly 2.1 million as the spring and summer tourist season kicked off. International passenger traffic this year through May also was up 11 percent to 9.5 million from the same period last year.

Domestic passenger traffic growth was more modest in May, rising 3.5 percent to 5.1 million. For the first five months, more than 23 million domestic travelers passed through LAX, up 3.6 percent from the same period last year.

Air cargo passing through LAX shot up 14 percent in May from the same period last year to nearly 208,000 tons. For the first five months of 2017, 943,000 tons of air cargo moved through LAX, up 10 percent from the same period last year.

Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.