Julie Jacobson, Associated Press
File-In this Tuesday Dec. 13,2011 file photo non-resident visitors to the United States wait in line at immigration control after arriving at McCarran International Airport, in Las Vegas. Airport administrators say McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas handled almost 41.5 million passengers in 2011, up 4.3 percent from the year before.

LAS VEGAS — Fueled by increased international flights, McCarran International Airport handled almost 41.5 million passengers in 2011, an increase of 1.7 million people compared with 2010, airport administrators said Friday.

Traffic on commercial flights by 16 airlines using the airport's international terminal increased 13.8 percent compared with 2010, the Clark County Department of Aviation said. Some of the increase came from more flights to and from Latin America, Great Britain and Canada.

The overall improvement of 4.3 percent came after the airport saw 39.8 million passengers in 2010. The airport peaked at 47 million passengers in 2007.

McCarran ranked as the country's eighth-busiest and the world's 22nd-busiest airport in 2010, ahead of San Francisco and behind Houston, according to Airports Council International.

Terminal 2 in Las Vegas, which handles flights to Hawaii and most international traffic, saw 2.2 million passengers in 2011 compared with 1.93 million in 2010. Volaris and Vision Airlines introduced service that didn't exist in 2010, while Aeromexico nearly doubled its passenger traffic to 186,000 passengers.

The terminal's four top airlines — Hawaiian Airlines, Air Canada, Virgin Atlantic Airways and British Airways — each increased traffic by more than 10 percent.

Southwest Airlines was the busiest of the airport's five top airlines in 2011. It handled nearly 16 million passengers during the year.

American, Continental and Allegiant all reported single-digit annual increases in passenger volume. Delta traffic decreased 1.8 percent.

McCarran is increasing its capacity to 53 million passengers this year with the opening of a new $2.4 billion terminal in June. The new facility will offload traffic from the existing international terminal and increase the number of travelers the airport can process through customs each hour.

Oskar Garcia can be reached at http://twitter.com/oskargarcia .