Passengers annoyed by HK rioters for causing flight cancelations

By Zhao Juecheng in Hong Kong and Wang Qi in Beijing Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/13 0:07:41

Black-clad protesters stormed the Hong Kong International Airport, paralyzing the international hub on Monday. Photo: Zhao Juecheng/GT

The Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) cancelled 230 flights on Monday as a result of the unsanctioned protests which disrupted operations at one of the world's busiest airports. 

Flights will be rescheduled at the HKIA on Tuesday morning depending on the situation at the airport, media reported on Monday, citing Airport Authority Hong Kong (AAHK).  

According to the China Aviation Daily, the HKIA cancelled all flights after 4 pm Monday afternoon and diverted 14 others as rioters occupied the airport, the Global Times learned. 

 "I often transit in Hong Kong, but I have never encountered such chaos. Hong Kong residents have the right to demonstrate, but they should not intervene in other people's right to travel, " a Filipino traveler at the airport told the Global Times.

The Global Times reporter learned in an online chatting group of the rioters that they believed that the shutdown of HKIA is a "remarkable victory" and were planning another rally at the airport on Tuesday.

As one of the world's busiest airports, HKIA serves over 220 destinations worldwide. It handled 74.7 million passengers and 427,725 flights in 2018. 

"Airport operations at Hong Kong International Airport have been seriously disrupted; all flights have been cancelled. All passengers are advised to leave the terminal buildings as soon as possible. Affected passengers please contact their respective airlines for flight arrangements," the airport announced on its official Website on Monday afternoon. 

The AAHK set up an emergency center to deal with the shut-down due to the impact of the illegal protests, local media Wen Wei Pao reported on Monday. 

Rioters have been thronging into the main terminal buildings of Hong Kong International Airport since the end of July, aiming to gain more support from passengers.

Some of the rioters were holding US national flags and colonial flags, according to photos and videos spread online. 

On July 27, some net users also posted pictures and videos online showing the rioters bullying and attacking a senior passenger who refused to accept their pamphlets. 

The rioters did not report their protest with the authorities in advance as is required. Wearing black clothes and masks, the demonstrators sat down on the ground in the arrival hall with anti-government banners and leaflets, causing concern among passengers, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

Several civil aviation workers' groups issued statements on Friday opposing the rally, saying it was illegal and would damage Hong Kong's image and economy. They also called on residents in Hong Kong not to participate in the rally, Xinhua said.


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