Hong Kong Demonstrations: Now Airport Closed, All Flights Canceled

  • Activities at Hong kong airport halted thanks to the ongoing demos.
  • Thousands of protesters storm the airport in protest of police brutality.
  • The demonstrations originally directed against a controversial extradition bill.

The Hong Kong airport authorities canceled all their flights after thousands of protesters occupied the city’s international airport terminal for the fourth consecutive day. The airport authority attributed the cancellations, which affected all flights after 4 pm local time (08.00 GMT) today to; “a large number of protesters that prevented passengers from checking-in” and have “seriously interrupted” the service.

Hong Kong International Airport (IATA: HKG, ICAO: VHHH) is the commercial airport serving Hong Kong, built on reclaimed land on the island of Chek Lap Kok. Having been in commercial operation since 1998, the Airport is an important regional trans-shipment centre, passenger hub and gateway for destinations in Mainland China (with 45 destinations) and the rest of Asia. The airport is the world’s busiest cargo gateway and one of the world’s busiest passenger airports.

The agency clarified that the flights that had already completed the billing process will continue with their scheduled flights and that those planes that were already heading to the city would also be allowed to land. The rest of the flights, both inbound and outbound, were suspended with immediate effect.

Thousands of protesters made their way to Hong Kong International Airport by bus, leading to a large crowd of demonstrators at the airport, the local Chinese media reported. Reports indicate that the airport workers have been instructed to finish their work before the scheduled time due to “safety concerns.”

According to the Hong Kong Free Press website, the thousands of protesters who gathered today at the airport did so to protest against the use of force by the police over the weekend, which led to clashes at a subway station, where fully armed riot officers dispersed the crowd with tear gas. The news website indicates that a person was injured in one eye due to the police attacks, which caused many protesters to cover their eyes with patches during today’s protests.

Hong Kong Protest on June 9, 2019.

For its part, the official Chinese media says that the protesters had filled the airport terminal for the fourth consecutive day, causing the rather unusual measure. On Saturday, hundreds of protesters did spend the night at the arrivals terminal, and they were later on joined by others until they reached thousands in numbers. The demonstrators busied themselves, handing out leaflets to foreigners in a bid to try to raise awareness among them about the Hong Kong crisis.

The worst political crisis experienced in decades in Hong Kong continues after two months of protests that, despite being originally directed against a controversial extradition bill, have led to broader demands for democratic mechanisms in the region.

Opponents of the bill argue that it will not only intimidate but equally penalize critics and those against the Chinese regime, while those in support of the introduction of the law opine that it’s okay as it will address a legal vacuum, as there aren’t any legal extradition formulas between Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the mainland China currently.

Although the current chief executive of Hong Kong, Carrie Lam, withdrew the controversial bill, describing it as “dead” at the beginning of the month, that didn’t serve to cool down the demonstrators, and they have continued to flood the city streets in protest.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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