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.

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

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

All this came despite the relocation of 21 airlines to different terminals in May, led by Delta Air Lines’ move from Terminals 5 and 6 to Terminals 2 and 3 ahead of the company’s $1.9 billion renovation of Terminal 3.

The number of passengers flying internationally surged 11 percent in May to nearly 2.1 million as the 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 in 2016 to nearly 208,000 tons.

– Howard Fine

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