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Monday, Aug 19, 2019

What Hong Kong airport disruption means for your travel plans

Hong Kong’s airport, Asia’s busiest hub for international passenger traffic and a key transit point for European trips, resumed operations early Tuesday after most demonstrators left.

world Updated: Aug 13, 2019 14:27 IST
Angus Whitley, Christopher Jasper and William Wilkes
Angus Whitley, Christopher Jasper and William Wilkes
Bloomberg
Anti-government protesters sit on the floor in front of security gates during a demonstration at Hong Kong Airport, China August 13, 2019.
Anti-government protesters sit on the floor in front of security gates during a demonstration at Hong Kong Airport, China August 13, 2019. (REUTERS)
         

Flights to and from Hong Kong were disrupted for a second day after dramatic protests at the main terminal building grounded hundreds of scheduled services.

Hong Kong’s airport, Asia’s busiest hub for international passenger traffic and a key transit point for European trips, resumed operations early Tuesday after most demonstrators left. But passengers are advised to confirm their flights before heading to the airport.

 Also Watch | Hong Kong airport resumes operation after protest disruption

The spillover from scrapped flights meant delays and cancellations throughout the day. Here’s how carriers worldwide, from Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. to Air China Ltd. are responding:

Cathay Pacific

Hong Kong Airlines

Air China

Qantas Airways

Virgin Australia

Deutsche Lufthansa

American

United

Thousands of black-clad protesters on Monday packed the arrival area, where they had gathered for a three-day sit-in that was originally planned to end on Sunday. Over the weekend they had greeted passengers with “Free Hong Kong” chants. Only departing passengers holding tickets or boarding passes and valid travel documents would be allowed to enter the Terminal 1 check-in area.

Authorities had deployed more aggressive tactics during the weekend protests, with riot police videotaped beating demonstrators in subway stations and officers going undercover to infiltrate the group and make arrests. The violent scenes emerged as protesters used flash mobs across the city, surrounding police stations, disrupting traffic, and hurling projectiles including bricks and petrol bombs. One officer was taken to the hospital after suffering burns in the upmarket shopping district of Tsim Sha Tsui. Mob violence broke out elsewhere.

Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets at various locations -- including inside a metro station for the first time. Dramatic videos showed riot police firing weapons at close range and beating some protesters, many of whom wore yellow hard hats and gas masks. Some 13 protesters were injured, including two in serious condition, RTHK reported, citing hospital authorities.

The protests, sparked in June by a bill easing extraditions to the mainland, have evolved into the biggest challenge to Chinese control since the U.K. relinquished its former colony in 1997. The social unrest has hurt the economy and impacted daily life in one of the world’s most densely crowded cities, raising concern that Beijing will use force to restore order.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

First Published: Aug 13, 2019 14:09 IST

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