Flights out of Hong Kong cancelled again amid protests

Airport officials said check-in for departing flights was suspended as of 4:30 p.m. local time

Protesters surround banners that read: “Those on the street today are all warriors!” centre top, and “Release all the detainees!” during a sit-in rally at the arrival hall of the Hong Kong International airport in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Protesters severely crippled operations at Hong Kong’s international airport for a second day Tuesday, forcing authorities to cancel all remaining flights out of the city after demonstrators took over the terminals as part of their push for democratic reforms.

After a brief respite early Tuesday during which flights were able to take off and land, the airport authority announced check-in services for departing flights were suspended as of 4:30 p.m. Departing flights that had completed the process would continue to operate.

It said it did not expect arriving flights to be affected, though dozens were already cancelled. The authority advised people not to come to the airport, one of the world’s busiest transport hubs.

On Monday, more than 200 flights were cancelled and the airport was effectively shut down with no flights taking off or landing.

Passengers have been forced to seek accommodation in the city while airlines struggle to find other ways to get them to their destinations.

The airport disruptions are an escalation of a summer of demonstrations aimed at what many Hong Kong residents see as an increasing erosion of the freedoms they were promised in 1997 when Communist Party-ruled mainland China took over what had been a British colony.

Those doubts are fueling the protests, which build on a previous opposition movement that shut down much of the city for seven weeks in 2014. That movement eventually fizzled out and its leaders have been jailed on public disturbance charges.

The central government in Beijing has ominously characterized the current protest movement as something approaching “terrorism” that poses an “existential threat” to the local citizenry.

READ MORE: Canada raises travel warning amid escalating protests in Hong Kong

While Beijing tends to define terrorism broadly, extending it especially to nonviolent movements opposing government policies in minority regions such as Tibet and Xinjiang, the government’s usage of the term in relation to Hong Kong raised the prospect of greater violence and the possible suspension of legal rights for those detained.

Meanwhile, paramilitary police were assembling across the border in the city of Shenzhen for exercises which some saw as a threat to increase force against the mostly young protesters who have turned out in their thousands over the past 10 weeks.

Police have arrested more than 700 protesters since early June and say they have infiltrated the ranks of the demonstrators, leading to concerns that officers were inciting violence. Scores of people have been, both protesters and police, including a woman reported to have had an eye ruptured by a beanbag round fired by police during clashes on Sunday.

Police said they are investigating the incident, which protesters have taken up as a rallying cry. Some of those joining in the airport occupation wore gauze bandages dyed with artificial blood over one eye.

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Protesters surround banners that read: “Those on the street today are all warriors!” center top, and “Release all the detainees!” during a sit-in rally at the arrival hall of the Hong Kong International airport in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Passengers and flight crew arrive at Hong Kong International Airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

In this Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, photo, a man holds a placard as thousands of protesters take part in a sit-in rally at the arrival hall of the Hong Kong International Airport, a major hub in Asia, in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Airport security personnel stand guard as travelers walk past protesters holding a sit-in rally at the departure gate of the Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Just Posted

Nelson’s SMRT1 Technologies to provide vending tech to Vancouver company

UpMeals will launch 22 machines across Canada using SMRT1’s personalized machines

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Trail Parks and Rec opens TALC Fitness Centre

Trail Parks and Rec to open Trail Aquatic Centre’s gym on Tuesday, pool to open in mid-September

The Editor’s Desk: Coping with COVID quiz

How well are you dealing with the pandemic? Take this quiz and find out!

Arson suspected in several wildfires lit near Fruitvale

RCMP making progress in arson investigation of Marsh Creek fires

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

Creston Valley Hospital addresses COVID-19 rumours regarding farms

‘Not one seasonal worker in Creston has tested positive for COVID-19,’ said Dr. Nerine Kleinhans

B.C. wildfire crews have battled 111 blazes in the last seven days

Twenty-nine fires remain active, as of Friday (Aug 7)

‘We don’t make the rules’: Okanagan pub owner says staff harassed over pandemic precautions

‘If you have six people plus a baby, guess what? That’s seven’ - West Kelowna Kelly O’Bryan’s owner

T-Rex earns big bids at B.C. dino auction

Over 500 dino-themed lots sold to buyers from across North America

Remembering Brent Carver: A legend of Broadway who kept his B.C. roots strong

Over the years, the Cranbrook thespian earned his place as one of Canada’s greatest actors

Statistics Canada says country gained 419,000 jobs in July

National unemployment rate was 10.9 per cent in July, down from the 12.3 per cent recorded in June

Canada plans $3.6 billion in retaliatory tariffs on U.S. in aluminium dispute

The new Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement that replaced NAFTA went into force on July 1

Canada ‘profoundly concerned’ over China death sentence for citizen in drug case

Police later confiscated more than 120 kilograms of the drug from Xu Weihong’s home

Most Read