MONTEREY, Calif. -

The Monterey Regional Airport served almost 44,000 more passengers in 2013 than 2011, according to airport officials.

There were 409,997 arriving and departing passengers last year. During the recession, passengers declined each year from 2009 to the 2011 low. The trend reversed in 2012.

About half of the increase is attributed to passengers flying Alaska Airlines' daily non-stop flight to San Diego. Alaska Airlines began serving Monterey in June 2012.

"We are grateful to have so many supportive partners: our airlines, residents and businesses, airport/public-private partnerships and our employees," said Tom Greer, the airport's general manager. "Thank you for supporting MRV and helping us achieve this upward trend in passenger growth during 2013."

Monterey Regional Airport offers nonstop service to Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego and San Francisco.