Increase in international travel drives SFO traffic to record level 

A record-setting 45 million passengers passed through San Francisco International Airport in 2013, more than any other year in the airport’s history.

It was the third year in a row that SFO broke its own record for passenger traffic, SFO spokesman Doug Yakel said.

The increase in traffic — around 500,000 more passengers than in 2012 — was mostly due to an expansion of international service throughout 2013, Yakel said.

“We had two new international airlines come to SFO in 2013,” Yakel said, referring to Scandinavia Airlines, with service to Copenhagen, and China Eastern Airlines, with three flights a week to Shanghai.

United Airlines also contributed to the boost in international traffic by expanding its service to Paris, Yakel said.

International flights at SFO account for 95.5 percent of all international air traffic at the Bay Area’s three main airports, the other two being Oakland International Airport and San Jose International Airport.

International service at SFO will likely keep growing in 2014, Yakel said.

Irish carrier Aer Lingus is planning to start direct flights between SFO and Ireland later this year, and United Airlines is planning to expand its direct service to more cities in China, Yakel said.

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