June 15, 2020

COVID-19: Canadian Air Traffic Sees Sharp Decline

For updates on air traffic figures, visit the news releases section of the NAV CANADA website.

While the global impacts of COVID continues, the aviation industry grapples with unprecedented declines in daily air traffic. In Canada, air traffic decreased an average of 74.7 per cent in April and 73.6 per cent in May, when compared to the same months in 2019.
While the aviation industry has overcome setbacks in the past, the scope and scale of the challenge posed by COVID-19 is unprecedented. As with others in the industry, COVID-19 is the most substantial challenge NAV CANADA has faced since its inception in 1996.

In April 2020, daily flights nationwide dropped to 2,680 from 9,304 in April 2019. Across the country, there were significant declines in air traffic at Canada’s busiest airports.

Flights at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport — the country’s business airport — averaged 186 a day in April, down from 1,249 daily the previous year.

Vancouver’s airport air traffic dropped from 875 average daily flights to 188.

Traffic at Calgary International Airport dropped from 650 in 2019 to 189 in 2020.

Montreal Trudeau’s airport went from 634 to 95.

Air traffic figures at other major airports across Canada including Cargo and Medical flights also declined.


In May 2020, there were 3,455 daily flights nationwide compared to 10,378 in May 2019. Once again, this month showed significant declines in air traffic at Canada’s busiest airports compared to the previous year.

Toronto’s Pearson International Airport averaged 180 a day in May, down 86% from 1,254 daily in 2019.

Air traffic in Vancouver dropped from 909 average daily flights to 201.

Calgary’s airport saw a decline in air traffic from 640 in 2019 to 164 in 2020.

Montreal Trudeau’s airport saw an 84% drop from 641 to 101.

Just as in April, air traffic figures at other major airports across Canada including Cargo and Medical flights have declined.


Though air traffic has declined, NAV CANADA continues to provide uninterrupted air navigation services to aircraft travelling in Canadian skies. From repatriation flights to cargo shipments and medevac services, NAV CANADA’s air traffic control, flight advisory, weather briefings and flight planning services, among others, are key to the aviation sector.

NAV CANADA will maintain safety as our first priority, as we ensure the safety of Canada’s skies from coast to coast to coast.

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Great graphics! So a V shaped recovery or a U shape? Only time and th second wave will tell.

Hey this is great data visualization. Where would one find the data set that was used? Cheers

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