Hundreds of Flights Canceled in Hong Kong Amid City-wide Protests
Here's what travelers with a flight into, out of, or connecting through Hong Kong need to know.
According to Bloomberg, airport authorities made the decision to reduce the volume of arrivals and departures to the airport on Monday for all airlines following dozens of morning cancellations due to the protests that included airport staff and air traffic controllers. According to the South China Morning Post, the airport was forced to use a single runway for takeoffs and landings.
"Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon have been informed by the Airport Authority of Hong Kong that air traffic flow control measures are being implemented on 5 August 2019," the airline said in a statement, adding that flights are canceled through Tuesday morning as well. It also advised customers to postpone non-essential travel. “We strongly advise customers not to go to the airport unless they have a confirmed booking. Please note that standby travel is not available at this moment.”
Beyond flight cancellations, protestors also blocked commuter trains during rush hour, stopping commuters from getting on or off the trains.
As the Associated Press explained, the protests began several weeks ago in Hong Kong. They began in June after protestors took to the streets against proposed extradition legislation. If passed, the proposed legislation would have allowed residents of Hong Kong to be sent to mainland China to stand trial. However, the government has since suspended the bill. But, that isn’t stopping protesters from continuing their cause. The group is now after wider democratic reforms for Hong Kong and is calling for Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, to resign.
So far, Lam has rejected calls for her resignation. In a statement to the press, she said protesters are causing Hong Kong to be "on the verge of a very dangerous situation.”
Travelers flying to, from, or through Hong Kong should check with their airline prior to departure.