Long Beach Airport set a monthly record for passenger boardings in March, surpassing the previous record set in 2018 before the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said Wednesday.

The local airport saw 182,382 boardings in March, compared to the previous record of 178,836 in July 2018.

March traffic rose 18.1% compared to March 2023, officials said.

LGB — and most other airports across the nation — took a significant financial hit during the pandemic, particularly early on when plane travel was severely restricted to prevent the spread of the virus. Passenger traffic at Long Beach Airport bottomed out in April 2020, which saw 97% fewer travelers than April 2019.

Airport Director Cynthia Guidry credited the turnaround to added flight routes and infrastructure improvements at the East Long Beach facility.

The airport now has 58 flight routes, with 50 of them being used by Southwest Airlines. The airport’s major airline has added new routes — including new flights to Kansas City, as well as Chicago, Dallas, Reno and other destinations. The airline is using its spots more frequently than previous airlines, officials said.

LGB’s airlines — Delta, Hawaiian Air and Southwest — currently offer service to 24 nonstop destinations around the nation, including Hawaii, which is more nonstop service than at any time in LGB’s 100-year history, officials said.

The airport has also invested millions into its infrastructure, including a current $122 million project to improve the terminal area. Work is expected to be complete by this fall.