While airports across the nation — including in
Oakland and San Jose — are losing passengers by the planeful, San
Francisco International is gaining business by taking advantage of
cheaper flights.

SFO had 18.4 million passengers in 2009, 330,000
more than in 2008. It was the sixth straight year more people went
through the airport, according to federal statistics released Monday.
SFO’s traffic rose 2 percent from 18.1 million travelers in 2008, and
has grown by 31 percent since 2003, when it had 14.1 million passengers.

By
contrast, air travel has dipped each of the past two years across the
nation, from 838 million passengers in 2007 to 770 million in 2009.

SFO
maintained its rank as the 10th-most-used airport in the United States
and was the only airport in the top 10 that did not lose traffic. SFO
has climbed from No. 13 in 2007 and was on pace to surpass Nos. 7-9,
Houston, Las Vegas and Phoenix, respectively, by year’s end.

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