Hong Kong protesters paralyse airport for 2nd day as they continue to occupy departure hall

Issei Kato/ReutersAnti-government protesters barricade Hong Kong International Airport’s departures hall with luggage trolleys on Tuesday.
  • Hong Kong airport has suspended most flight operations for the second consecutive day due to anti-government protests in the busy hub.
  • Hong Kong International Airport cancelled all check-in services from 4:30 p.m. local time (4:30 a.m. ET).
  • Other departing flights where the check-in process has ended, and other arriving flights will continue to operate as normal, the airport said.
  • Thousands of protesters continue to occupy Hong Kong International Airport’s arrival and departure halls for the fifth consecutive day.
  • The airport cancelled all flights going in and out of the city on Monday afternoon due to the protests.
  • Demonstrators are rallying against the mainland Chinese government and the Hong Kong police’s handling of recent rallies in the city.
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Hong Kong airport authorities have suspended all flights for the second consecutive day as protesters continue to gather at the busy hub.

Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) cancelled all flights going in and out of the city for the rest of the day at 4:30 p.m. local time (4:30 a.m. ET), the airport authority said in a statement.

“Terminal operations at Hong Kong International Airport have been seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly at the airport today,” the statement said.

“All check-in service for departure flights has been suspended since 1630hrs. Other departure and arrival flights for the rest of the day will continue to operate, and airlines will provide arrangements for passengers who have not completed the departure process.”

The airport also warned people not to travel to the airport.

More than 300 flights have been cancelled, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported. Hong Kong International Airport typically handles about 800 flights a day.

Thousands of people have occupied the airport’s departures and arrivals hall for the past five consecutive days, protesting the mainland Chinese government and Hong Kong police’s handling of the city’s recent rallies.

On Tuesday, hundreds of demonstrators occupied the area around the check-in aisles from around 2:30 p.m. before occupying the departure gates, while some 1,000 more sat in the arrivals section, SCMP reported.

The sit-ins had already forced the airport to shut down around 3:30 p.m. on Monday, with airport authorities saying at the time that the protests had “seriously disrupted” airport operations.

There have also been reports of heavy traffic in and out of the airport due to the protests.

Hong Kong airport protestREUTERS/Tyrone SiuProtesters occupy Hong Kong airport’s departures hall on Monday.

The city’s protests – which have lasted more than nine weeks – have seen violence from both activists and police, and are showing no sign of ending soon.

On Tuesday, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam warned that protesters risked pushing the city “further into the abyss,” adding that Hong Kong is “seriously wounded” and “will take a long time to recover.”


Read more:
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam warns against pushing the city into the ‘abyss’ as protesters force airport to cancel hundreds more flights

Beijing has vowed to respond harshly to the protests, which it has called “riots.”

Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, which operates under China’s State Council, said on Monday afternoon that protests were showing “signs of terrorism” and promised to respond with an “iron fist,” according to SCMP.

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