Almost all flights out of Hong Kong International Airport were cancelled on Monday evening, as protests at the airport continued for a fourth day.
“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 arrangement,” said a statement on the airport’s website.
Thousands of protesters had packed the arrivals area, where they gathered for a three-day sit-in that was originally planned to end Sunday night, according to Bloomberg.
Demonstrations have been taking place across the Special Administrative Region since early June, which were initially against a controversial extradition bill, but demands have broadened to police accountability and calls for a more democratic system of government.
It was reported on Twitter that some Cathay Pacific flights took off Monday evening, but only for passengers who had already cleared immigration and security at the time the flight cancellations were announced, around 1700 local time.
Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific is posting the latest flights updates here.
At 2243 local time it advised customers not to travel to the airport and said that flights would be suspended “until early morning on Tuesday 13 August.”
However dozens of flights into and out of Hong Kong throughout Tuesday are currently listed as cancelled.
Cathay Pacific provided Business Traveller with the following statement:
“Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon have been informed by the Hong Kong International Airport Authority that all departing flights are cancelled today, Monday 12 August, effective immediately.
“The cancellation period will extend until the morning of tomorrow, 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 both today (12 August) and tomorrow (13 August) and should not proceed to the airport.
“Our flights from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester and Dublin are expected to be impacted on 13 August.
“With immediate effect, rebooking and rerouting charges will be waived for all tickets issued worldwide (irrespective of fare type) on or before 12 August for travel with Cathay Pacific on a confirmed booking arriving to and departing from Hong Kong on 12 and 13 August.
“All passengers are urged to check their Flight Status. To receive the latest flight status updates via SMS or email, customers are advised to update their contact details in Manage Booking. They can also download our app for iOS or Android and enable 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 minimise the impact to customers.
“Our customer service hotline is 0800 917 8260.”
A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson told us:
“As with all airlines, Virgin Atlantic has cancelled its Hong Kong to London Heathrow flight, the VS207, today (August 12), due to protest activity.
“Our flights from London Heathrow to Hong Kong are still operating as planned. We’d like to apologise to our customers for the delay this will cause and advise anyone due to travel from Hong Kong to check our website for the latest information.”
A British Airways spokesperson said:
“Like all airlines, our two flights today from Hong Kong to Heathrow are affected by the disruption at Hong Kong International Airport.
“We apologise to customers affected by the disruption at the airport and we are offering them options to rebook to a different date or to take a full refund.”
According to a source quoted in the South China Morning Post’s live blog from the airport, the last fight landing today will be Virgin Australia’s VA83, scheduled to touch down at 1731 local time, with flights scheduled to arrive later either diverted or put on hold.
Hong Kong Airlines cancelled 40 flights on 12 and 13 August. Full details of the cancelled flights can be found on Hong Kong Airlines’ website here.
Low-cost carrier HK Express, which is now owned by Cathay Pacific, cancelled 12 flights on 12 and 13 August. The airline also ‘deferred’ 16 flights scheduled for 12 August. Full details can be found here on the airline’s website.