Airlines and Aviation
Following the unprecedented shut-down of Hong Kong International Airport on 12 August, travelers flying into or out of the territory face another day of protests and canceled flights. Passengers are advised to check with airlines before heading to the airport.
Cathay Pacific Airways Cancels Dozens of Flights
The Hong Kong Airport Authority is hoping to get Hong Kong International Airport up and running by 5 am on 13 August.
However, that does not mean a return to normal flights operations at the bustling airport.
In fact, at least two airlines have announced the cancellation of dozens of flights. Cathay Pacific Airways – Hong Kong’s dominant carrier – and its subsidiary, Cathay Dragon, have announced dozens of canceled flights.
As of 1 am in the morning, the two airlines had already canceled 40 departing flights and 59 incoming flights.
However, that does not mean that all Cathay flights will be cancelled. Check the airlines’ Flight delays and cancellations page for updates.
More Protests Planned
An occupation of the airport on 12 August resulted in chaos for thousands of travelers.
With more than 10,000 protesters occupying both the arrivals and departures halls of the airport from 1 pm, airlines were forced to cancel flights.
By 4 pm, all flights departing flights that had not already boarded were cancelled. Incoming flights were allowed to land if they were already airborne, but many airlines decided to either divert flights to others destinations or back to their point of origin.
Most protesters started leaving the airport later in the afternoon and by early evening only a few hundred remained. By 12.20 am, fewer than 200 protesters were still occupying the terminal, Dim Sum Daily reports.
Another protest is planned for 13 August, which is likely to result in more delays and cancellations. Passengers are advised to contact airlines before heading to the airport.
However, keep in mind that the situation is highly fluid. Some passengers that were told that flights were going to depart as scheduled on 12 August arrived at the airport to be told that they had been cancelled.
Airport Occupation Planned
This post was updated on 12 August 2019 at 11.45 am.
Organizers of a peaceful three-day sit-in from 9 to 11 August at Hong Kong International Airport are calling for yet another protest at the airport, Dim Sum Daily reports.
This protest will begin at 1 pm on 12 August 2019. The theme of the protest will be “Police! Return an eye! An eye for an eye!”
Protesters were urged to arrive at the airport between 11 am and 12 noon.
“All protesters were requested to be fully masked and they were given complete free hand to disrupt the airport at all terminals instead of a sit-in protest similar to the one held for the past three days,” Dim Sum Daily says.
Protesters have been warned, however, not to storm the airport runway as the police might fire live ammunition if they do.
In addition, organizers are planning a series of “non-cooperation movements” to disrupt traffic to the airport. They will commence at 2 pm.
It is anyone’s guess if the protest will result in flight cancellations. Therefore, passengers are advised to check with airlines before heading to the airport.
Cathay Pacific Statement
Cathay Pacific Airways issued the following statement at 7.00 pm (Hong Kong Time) on 12 August 2019:
Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon have been informed by the Airport Authority in Hong Kong that all departing flights are cancelled on Monday, 12 August. The cancellation period will extend until the morning of Tuesday, 13 August. This is as a result of the public assembly taking place at Hong Kong International Airport.
Customers are therefore advised to postpone non-essential travel from Hong Kong on 12 and 13 August and should not proceed to the airport. Additionally, In-town Check-in services have been suspended.
A limited number of flights will be in service for connecting passengers only, who are currently in transit at Hong Kong International Airport. Immigration counters remain closed at the airport, and therefore no departing passengers are able to be accommodated on these flights.
To view our cancelled flights on Monday 12 August, please visit the links below:
To view our cancelled flights on Tuesday 13 August, please visit the links below:
With immediate effect, certain charges will be waived for ticket changes. Please view more details on our Special ticketing guidelines page.
All passengers are urged to check Flight Status. To ensure you receive the latest flight status updates via SMS or email, please update contact details in Manage Booking. You can also download our app for iOS or Android and enable our push notifications.
Please visit our Flight delays and cancellations page, to understand our service recovery during disruptions.
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.
Cathay Pacific Airways issued the following statement at 9.15 am (Hong Kong Time) on 12 August 2019:
We are aware that a public assembly may take place at Hong Kong International Airport on 12 August 2019.
Our flights to and from Hong Kong International Airport are currently operating as normal.
Passengers should allow sufficient time for travelling to the airport, as there may be congestion on roads and public transportation. Additionally, there may be added entrance procedures at the airport – to save time, we highly recommend checking in online at cathaypacific.com.
All customers scheduled to fly are advised to check Flight Status before proceeding to the airport. To ensure you receive the latest flight status updates via SMS or email, please update contact details in Manage Booking.
New Three Day Airport Protest Planned
This post was updated on 8 August 2019.
Netizens are planning another a massive sit-in protest in the Arrival Hall of Terminal 1 at Hong Kong International Airport.
The protest will begin at 1 pm on 9 August. It will continue for three days until 11 August. The Hong Kong protest has been organized by way of a Telegram chat group.
Organizers of the protest have not applied for a letter of no objection. However, they have pledged not to engage in any violent clashes or trespass into prohibited zones.
In addition to the five demands, protesters are calling for an end to police brutality. In addition, they want the police to stop suppressing street rallies.
The five demands are …
- Extradition bill to the Basic Law must be withdrawn;
- Violent clashes should not be characterized as “riots;
- Everyone arrested should be unconditionally released;
- There should be an independent inquiry into police actions;
- Chief executive must resign.
A large number of airport traffic controllers participated in a General Strike in Hong Kong on 5 August, which resulted in a large number of flight cancellations.
Airport Rally on 26 July Drew 15,000 Protesters
The three day protest to begin on 9 August will be the second major protest to be held at the at the airport this summer.
Cabin crew working for Cathay Pacific Airways and others held a massive rally at the Airport on Friday on 26 July 2019 in support of calls for the complete withdrawal of Hong Kong’s controversial extradition bill.
The bill has attracted widespread opposition from various sectors of society.
The airline extradition bill protest also called for the retraction of the term “riot” to describe a protest on 12 June, exoneration of all arrested protesters, establishment of an independent commission of inquiry, and implementation of universal suffrage.
In addition, police inaction during a violent attack on passengers at a metro station contributed to the dissatisfaction of airline employees.
People Within Airport Community
According to Cathay Pacific, the unprecedented protest was organized independently of the airline, trade unions, and the Airport Authority. It was billed as a “gathering of people within the airport community”. It was not an “industrial action”.
Off-duty airline employees started to gather at 1 pm in the arrivals halls at Terminal One of Hong Kong International Airport.
The crowd slowly grew from a few hundred to several thousand at its peak. Organizers say roughly 15,000 people attended the protest.
In addition to staging a sit in, waving signs, handing out flyers, and chanting slogans, demonstrators set up a Lennon Wall on which to post comments.
They also showed video clips of previous demonstrations protesting the controversial bill.
The demonstration was overwhelmingly peaceful, and demonstrators allowed space for arriving passengers to make their ways through the crowded terminal.
However, a video has surfaced of an elderly passenger being surrounded and harassed by angry demonstrators who accused him for hitting someone.
They yelled insults at him, posted a sign on his back, and attempted to block his way as he stoically made his through the terminal, following him all the way to the bus terminal.
The man claimed he had not hit anyone and attempted to apologize, but it did not assuage the anger of the crowd.
The video was posted on Dim Sum Daily.
In a related development, approximately 8,000 airport employees were among 21,000 signing a petition calling on the government to heed demands regarding the the extradition bill, which allow the transfer of fugitives to jurisdictions with which the city has no extradition deal.
The bill was first proposed in February. Hong Kong currently does not have extradition treaties with China, Macau, or Taiwan.
Flight Attendants Union Statement
The Cathay Pacific Flight Attendants Union issued the following statement:
Dear friends in the Aviation Industry,
As a part of Hong Kong, FAU [Flight Attendants Union] is always determined to be connected with the general public in Hong Kong. Most importantly, we shall put our utmost efforts to ensure Hong Kong can continue to be a place with peace and harmony which is welcomed and treasured by general public and tourists.
Undoubtedly, the performance of HKSAR in handling of Extradition Bill, the 5 demands of HongKongers and the violent attacks on random civilians in Yuen Long MTR carriage have greatly disappointed the Citizens of Hong Kong. We feel deeply regret with the incapability of our CE Carrie Lam and her team that only play tricks to fool its people. Therefore, FAU is now calling all of you to join the 26th July 2019 peaceful protest (which is organized by netizens) in the Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1 Arrival Hall. We aim to demonstrate a peaceful manner and take the time to tell the people from all over the world on what has been happening lately in Hong Kong.
Let’s stand up for our human rights and be connected with the rest of the HongKongers.
United Hong Kong Stands!
Anti-Extradition Bill Protest Marches
The first anti-extradition bill protest was staged on 31 March, with a turnout of 12,000 people. The extradition bill protest was organized by members of the legal community. A second protest followed on 28 April. The march attracted an estimated 130,000 people.
Larger protests followed in June as opposition to the bill spread beyond the legal community to the business community and a wider spectrum of society. One million people marched on 9 June. And close to 2 million people marched the following Sunday.
Although marches have been overwhelmingly peaceful, violence has often broken out following marches. There have been running battles between protesters and police.
Attack at MTR Station
The most serious violence so far broke out following a large protest march on Hong Kong Island on 21 July.
Between 100 and 200 men wearing white shirts launched vicious attacks against passengers at an MTR station in the Northern New Territories city of Yuen Long.
Their targets were protesters returning home from the march on Hong Kong Island. However, non-protesters were beat up, as well. The indiscriminate violence sent shock waves throughout the community.
Forty-give people sought treatment at hospitals. One was person critically injured and others were seriously injured. Among the injured was a young woman that was three months pregnant.
Police were slow to respond, arriving well after the violence had subsided, making no arrests at the scene. After the police left, a second attack occurred at the station.
Planning to Visit Hong Kong?
- If you are planning a trip to Hong Kong, please search for your hotel room at TripAdvisor/Hong Kong/hotels. I will get a small commission to help maintain this site – at no extra cost to you.
- Check out the best way to tour Hong Kong!
Tourist alert: The Peak Tram, the Hong Kong Museum of Coastal Defense, and the Hong Kong Museum of Art are currently closed for renovation.