Information on passenger rights Covid19
The European Regulation 261/2004 which protects the rights of passengers does not foresee a situation like the one we are experiencing, with prohibitions and massive cancellations of flights, with measures restricting the free movement of citizens between geographical areas and with countless recommendations not to travel, all based on public health reasons to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. In these circumstances, the first priority is to follow the recommendations of the authorities by maintaining the rights contained in the regulation in a flexible manner.
The choices available in case of cancellation by the airline are either the refund of the flight or its postponement. The cancellation of flights by airlines due to the declaration of the global health emergency due to the expansion of coronavirus is considered an extraordinary circumstance and, therefore, as stated in European Regulation 261/2004 on passenger rights, there will be no supplementary financial compensation. In view of this exceptional situation, it could also be established that even in cases where the airline cancels the flight due to the economic and environmental impact caused by the opening of a flight with a very small number of passengers, extraordinary circumstances apply following the crisis. Each situation will be examined anyway.
This is our interpretation and the passenger can therefore always claim his particular situation in court.
Note that cancellations made by the passengers themselves are not covered by the regulation and that the passengers will then have to refer to their sales contract and the special conditions established by the airlines. Passengers who are affected by the cancellation of a flight (by the company or by themselves) must contact the airline that had to operate the flight.
For travel arrangements still permitted or repatriation see the Foreign Affairs website: https://diplomatie.belgium.be/fr or Embassy. For questions on sales contracts and general conditions of sale, passengers can find information on the European Consumer Centre website of their country: https://www.eccbelgium.be/.