HALIFAX -- As our lives slowly return to normal, it's become apparent air travel is still a long way off for many.

Things have been so quiet at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, it has started laying off about a quarter of its workforce.

Largely deserted, the Maritime region's largest airport is a ghost town at the moment, and there are not enough flights to even fill a single board.

Airlines have made no secret they're struggling, with the bigger players losing billions to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seat pricing has always been one of the most powerful tools at any airline's disposal.

Nothing fills an aircraft faster than a seat sale and those who have started browsing for future travel might be pleasantly surprised by what they find.

But as millions discovered this year, a lot can change in a few months. Flights booked now may wind up cancelled later.

Experts admit these are unusual and unprecedented times for the airlines.

A lot of companies aren't publishing fares at the moment because of the uncertainty, but many Canadians are getting anxious to travel.

"Don't be afraid to book into the future," said Gary Howard, CAA Atlantic's vice-president. "Typically, what happens is, you choose something you like, you put a deposit down, and then full payment isn't due until later."