- Hong Kong’s ninth consecutive week of protests disrupted flights at the city’s airport amid a general strike on Monday.
- More than 230 flights had been canceled as of Monday evening local time, mostly on Cathay Pacific, the region’s flag carrier airline.
- Protesters have been demonstrating against proposed extradition legislation that would have allowed residents to be sent to mainland China to stand trial.
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Cathay Pacific, the flag carrier airline of Hong Kong, and other airlines have been forced to cancel more than 200 flights as protests continue to rage in the city.
More than 14,000 people pledged a general strike on Monday, the BBC reported, as the demonstrations against more Chinese control in the autonomous region enter their ninth week. Specifically, protesters have been decrying leader Carrie Lam and proposed extradition legislation that would have allowed residents to be sent to mainland China to stand trial.
Air-traffic controllers and other workers did not report to work at the airport on Monday, the South China Morning Post reported. As a result, the airport was using just one of its two runways for takeoffs and landings.
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon were the most disrupted, with Hong Kong Airlines also cancelling flights Monday, data from FlightAware showed. As of 8:30 p.m. local time, 230 total flights had been delayed and another 338 delayed, the site said.
Canceled flights at Hong Kong Airport, 5 Aug.
Arrivals 🛬 97 | Departures 🛫 122
Airlines with most cancellations:
Cathay Dragon: 🛬 42 | 🛫 47
Cathay Pacific: 🛬 15 | 🛫 24
Hong Kong Airlines: 🛬 11 | 🛫 20
Live flights at HKG: https://t.co/5LVDr4f6fI pic.twitter.com/bx715zJHOh
— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) August 5, 2019
“Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon have been informed by the Airport Authority of Hong Kong that air traffic flow control measures are being implemented on 5 August 2019,” the airline said in a statement.
“As a result, many flights have been delayed or cancelled. Customers are advised to postpone non-essential travel. We strongly advise customers not to go to the airport unless they have a confirmed booking. Please note that standby travel is not available at this moment.”
Flights have also been cancelled into Tuesday morning, the airline said.
Cathay employees also called in sick as part of the strike, internal messages published by the Hong Kong Free Press showed.
First blood – internal message shows hundreds of Cathay Pacific / Cathay Dragon calling in sick for Monday https://t.co/QR91qq0u2z
— Kris Cheng (@krislc) August 4, 2019
At the airport, protesters flooded the terminal. Videos posted to YouTube by travelers showed long lines and crowded terminals amid the travel chaos.
some protesters at the airport to welcome the visitors. Very peaceful but loud. #antiELAB pic.twitter.com/FJ8jEabDyY
— Eric (@eriiiic) August 5, 2019
Shares of Cathay Pacific fell more than 4% in trading in Hong Kong on Monday, outpacing the benchmark Hang Seng index’s 2.85% decline. Markets around the world were roiled by new trade tensions between the United States and China, which sent Asian markets into a major selloff while US futures also dipped well into the red.
Elsewhere in Hong Kong, protesters blocked rush hour subway and commuter trains, the Associated Press reported, preventing commuters from leaving their stations.
- Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam says she will not resign as protests rage into their 9th week
- As Hong Kong fights for its life, an embarrassed China has only violence to offer
- Video shows Hong Kong protesters using lasers to disrupt government facial-recognition cameras
SEE ALSO: Video of China’s military practicing riot drills with tanks in Hong Kong bears similarities to army response to the infamous Tiananmen Square protests
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