Sign in
EN - News

Canada's Major Airports Are Eerily Deserted & Almost Unrecognizable (PHOTOS)

Canada's airports like you've never seen them before.
Canada's Major Airports Are Eerily Deserted & Almost Unrecognizable (PHOTOS)

If there’s one place that’s usually busy and bustling 24/7, it’s the airport. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the global air travel industry has grinded to a halt, and Canada’s major airports are eerily deserted. With almost no passenger flights in the air, and no passengers boarding, our biggest airports have become almost unrecognizable, and the photos are pretty haunting!

When you think of Canada’s major airports, you may imagine extremely long lines, screens with hundreds of flight numbers, luggage and suitcases everywhere, and plenty of planes taking-off and landing.

However, since the global COVID-19 pandemic grounded almost all Canadian flights, the country’s airports have been reduced to eerie ghost towns.

In March, the Prime Minister announced that Canada's borders would be closed to almost all foreign nationals, and most international flights would be restricted to just four airports: Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. 

While these four hubs remain slightly busier than most, photos from inside show just how quiet Canada’s major airports have become.

From empty waiting areas and parking lots, to unmanned staff desks and totally clear skies, these centres for travel have become almost completely deserted.

While an empty airport might be a welcome sight when you're travelling usually, these eerie scenes show just how much has changed for the air travel industry.

Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier

Canada’s capital city is usually a bustling hub for people travelling both domestically, and internationally.

However, there’s no lines at the check-in desks right now, and there’s no staff to be seen anywhere.

Right now, there's only a few flights coming and going from Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier, and most of them are heading to Toronto.

Toronto Pearson

At Toronto Pearson, which is usually Canada’s busiest airport, passenger traffic has reduced significantly.

"We’re seeing approximately 5,000 passengers per day, compared to a normal average of 130,000," Senior Advisor of Communications Robin Smith told Narcity in an email.

"There are approximately nine passenger airlines operating at Pearson, compared to 67 airlines that were operating previously," he added.


As one of the few airports still welcoming international flights, you might expect Montréal-Trudeau to be a little bit busier. However, the scenes are pretty similar.

Recent posts on social media show the international hub to be almost completely deserted, with no passengers to be seen anywhere.

Right now, aircrafts are still arriving in Montreal from as far as Paris and Doha, yet the arrivals lounge is as quiet as its ever been.

Vancouver International

As one of the largest and busiest international travel hubs in Canada, it’s extremely uncommon to see Vancouver Airport look empty.

Photos from social media show the eerily quiet departure lounge, and the almost-unbelievable check-in counters.

According to one tweet, a flight between Vancouver and the U.S.A. had just six passengers, alongside just five members of staff. Eek!

Calgary International

While photos from Calgary International Airport show how uncharacteristically calm the flight centre is, there's still a surprising number of flights arriving and departing.

Although most of these routes are domestic, there's a couple of international flights still operating, too!

Edmonton International

While it still feels almost impossible to imagine flying again, Air Canada has already introduced their new plans for passenger air travel.

New protocol will include taking passengers temperatures prior to boarding, and ensuring that no adjacent seats are sold on every single flight.

While usually we might dream of seeing the airport look like this, it's a sure sign that something is not right.

Maybe when we're eventually able to fly internationally again, we'll appreciate those long lines, busy bathrooms and stressful baggage experiences?!