The new passenger terminal at Houari Boumediene Airport is beautiful, but I have never seen an airport so quiet or empty.
Houari Boumediene Airport In Algiers: Ghost Town
In 2019, Algiers opened an impressive new airport terminal, which actually marked only the first phase of a planned new multi-terminal airport. If my visit was any indication, though, I would say the airport has more than enough space as-is.
As I walked from my airport hotel to the airport, I noticed the parking lots were empty (as in not a single car).
It was very quiet outside the terminal.
Most of the check-in counters were deserted.
After clearing passport control (with some drama), I found a terminal that was not only also quiet but eerily empty. It’s not that this was just a quiet time of night at the airport (though it was), but that it appeared this area of the terminal is just not used for anything.
Air Algérie is based in Algiers and hosts its flagship lounge here. From 10:00 pm to midnight, I had the lounge totally to myself for the majority of the time:
(there was another photo incident in the lounge…)
I have to admit, it felt kind of creepy to be the only one in the lounge. At one point the single staff member disappeared at the front desk and I was literally there all alone for a 15-minute period.
Algiers Airport has a lot of capacity for growth. It’s a lovely facility, but really quite underutilized at this point. Perhaps if the country transitioned to visas on arrival, it would attract more visitors. Then again, my sense of the country (which I loved) is that it does not want a huge influx of visitors.
Have you ever been to an airport that feels like a ghost town?