Thousands of anti-government protestors wearing black have gathered in the arrivals hall of Hong Kong International Airport, prompting the airport to cancel all remaining flights for today.
In a statement noting the temporary suspension of all inbound and outbound flights, HKIA chose to take a neutral stance on the nature of the protests:
Airport operations at Hong Kong International Airport have been seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly at the airport today. Other than the departure flights that have completed the check-in process and the arrival flights that are already heading to Hong Kong, all other flights have been canceled for the rest of today.
Prior to this announcement, Hong Kong had already limited who could enter the departures hall:
To maintain the smooth process of the departure procedures of passengers and the terminal operation, only departure passengers with an air ticket or boarding pass for the next 24 hours and a valid travel document, or airport staff with identity proofs will be allowed to enter to the check-in aisles at Terminal 1 with effect from 1200hrs on 12 August, 2019, until further notice. Airport security staff will be deployed on site to assist passengers or airport staff to enter the area. Passengers please allow sufficient time to come to the airport.
In its own statement, Cathay Pacific said:
While disruption events like these can change significantly and at short notice, rest assured we are doing everything we can in advance to minimize the impact to customers.
Shares of Cathay Pacific stock have dropped to a 10-year low.
Mark this story as developing. As I write this at 5:00 PM Hong Kong time, thousands of additional protestors are reportedly making their way to the airport.
Thus far, the airport protests have been peaceful, but so overwhelmed the airport as to make travel virtually impossible. Most of the protestors are young.
I’ll have more info on the Hong Kong protests and link to Cathay Pacific later this week.
If you were flying into or out of Hong Kong today, contact your airline to make alternate travel arrangements.