Los Angeles International Airport

Los Angeles International Airport Photo by Ringo Chiu.

Passenger traffic at Los Angeles International Airport was nearly 8.14 million in August, essentially unchanged from from the same month a year earlier.

International traffic continued its downward trend in August, according to figures released Aug. 26 by the airport’s operating agency.

Figures provided by Los Angeles World Airports show a drop of about 500 domestic passengers — or less than 0.1% — in August compared to the same period in 2018.

But international passenger traffic fell substantially during the month. LAX saw 77,800 fewer passengers — a decline of 3.1% — pass through international gates in August compared to a year ago. Domestic traffic rose by 77,300 — or 1.4% — almost offsetting the drop in international traffic.

For the first eight months of this year, passenger traffic rose 0.7% to 59.7 million, a gain of about 410,000 passengers compared with the same period last year. International passenger traffic was down 1.5% for the period to 17.5 million, while domestic traffic was up 1.6% to 42.1 million.

Air cargo tonnage fell more than 8% in August to 197,000 tons compared with August 2018 as the impact of the U.S.-China trade war continued to spread. For the first eight months of this year, air cargo tonnage fell 4.7% to 1.52 million tons compared to the same period last year.

The picture was quite different at Ontario International Airport, the only other commercial airport in the region to report August figures so far.

August passenger traffic at Ontario rose 10% to 504,000 compared with last August; for the first eight months of this year, passenger traffic is up 7.5% to 3.6 million compared with the same period a year ago.

The increase at Ontario has been driven primarily by international passenger traffic, which has surged 43% so far this year compared with the first eight months of 2018; the airport’s first nonstop transoceanic flights to Asia started last year with service on Taipei, Taiwan-based China Air Lines.

Air cargo tonnage at Ontario International Airport was down 2% in August compared to last year to 67,000 tons. But for the first eight months of this year, air cargo tonnage was up 2.7% to 496,000 tons.

Education, energy, engineering/construction and infrastructure reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.

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