The outbreak of the COVID-19, which rapidly reached the level of a pandemic, has dramatically affected the aviation industry this year. An important number of flights have been cancelled and passengers are seeking reimbursement and compensation for their travel disruption. The European Regulation No 261/2004 on air passenger rights establishes a specific liability regime in case of flight cancellation. This article analyses the effects of this unparalleled health situation with respect to the passenger rights set out in this European regulation. It discusses the question of reimbursement, rerouting, care, and compensation with regard to the concept of extraordinary circumstances. It also calls for a realistic response from the European Institutions to further protect the aviation industry.