JAL reports rise in international passenger traffic, first in 8 months

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TOKYO -Japan Airlines Corp. said Monday that passenger traffic on its international services increased 1.6 percent in May from a year earlier to 795,927, a first rise in eight months.

The airline currently undergoing a state-backed rehabilitation process said the number of domestic passengers the airline group carried also rose 0.9 percent to 3,066,223, an increase for the second straight month.

JAL attributed the gain in international passengers to the recovery in the number of passengers flying on business while noting that passenger numbers for May 2009 were dented by the new influenza outbreak.

Japan-China routes recorded a 16.6 percent increase in May, mainly due to the Shanghai Expo. Pacific routes registered a 15.9 percent gain as the number of tourists to Hawaii increased, the airline said.