Protests Shut Down Hong Kong Airport

by Daniel McCarthy
Protests Shut Down Hong Kong Airport

Protests at Hong Kong International's main building, which have shut down the airport on Monday. Photo: Wong Tsz Kiu Katy / 

Hong Kong International Airport was effectively shut down on Monday, with all remaining flights canceled due to ongoing protests by thousands of anti-government protestors demonstrating against a bill that would allow extraditions to mainland China.

Protests have been ongoing in Hong Kong since June, with protestors swarming Hong Kong International’s main terminal for a fourth day on Monday. According to Bloomberg, protestors began to thin out on Monday evening as police asked all protestors and passengers in the airport to leave, but not before more than 200 departures and arrivals from Hong Kong were canceled.

The airport said it was trying to restore operations as soon as possible and currently have Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. as the scheduled reopening time. 

Cathay Pacific Airways, which is the main airline in Hong Kong, announced that it would be canceling all of its flights until Tuesday morning and is warning its guests traveling through Tuesday not to go to the airport before checking with the airline. It is issuing fee waivers on cancellations and refund charges, along with rebooking charges, on all impacted flights. 

Other airlines, including British Airways, Lufthansa, Qatar Airways, Etihad, Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, and Turkish Airlines, have all canceled their flights. 

Hong Kong Airport is regularly ranked as one of the ten busiest airports in the world in passenger traffic. According the Airports Council International, close to 75 million passengers traveled through Hong Kong International in 2018, more than Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Amsterdam Schiphol, and Dallas-Fort Worth.

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