Protesters disrupting surface travel to Hong Kong airport

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This topic contains 18 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  K1ngston 13 Sep 2019
at 12:51
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 19 total)

  • AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Reports today via @SCMPNews show anti-government protesters attempting to block air and rail links to Hong Kong’s airport.

    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/politics/article/3025242/airport-express-trains-suspended-hong-kong-protesters-kick


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    For those able to access CNN their reporting is quite detailed.

    Only access to the airport was by foot with protesters walking over the bridge, airport express closed. Walk takes ca. 1 hour from nearest train station.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Also good coverage on Sky News.

    Flights are leaving HKG as normal but not all passengers are able to reach the airport on time.

    Sky News showed travellers wheeling their luggage along the main road to the airport.

    And travellers arriving into HKG face difficulty leaving the airport for downtown. @SCMPMews reports long queues for buses and that “some travellers have been waiting for at least an hour.”


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    We arrived back from Bali on Sunday (1 September) at lunchtime and were fortunate to catch one of the last Airport Express trains leaving from the airport (trains TO the airport had already been cancelled). We saw many protesters walking to the airport from the train windows, and later the line was shut completely as protesters apparently threw stones onto the line. The airport had many riot police in evidence.

    The whole situation is incredibly sad – the combination of government paralysis and genuine grievances by protesters (and, in fairness, many perceived grievances which aren’t really justifiable) means that the protests are likely to continue until something radical happens. These protests have already gone on longer than Occupy Central, yet there seems to be little movement on either side. My personal view is that the Occupy Central protesters were making unrealistic demands. The demands this time around are much more reasonable, and could in fact be achieved – but the extent of the necessary climb-down seems to be too much for the government.

    Carrie Lam looks more like Theresa May every day – stubborn, blind to what is going on around her, politically incompetent, intransigent, and pursuing a path that has absolutely no prospect of success except through (and again the parallel here with Theresa May is striking) an attempt to win through sheer force of attrition. It’s all terribly depressing…

    6 users thanked author for this post.

    TupeloKid
    Participant

    Good analysis, IanFromHKG.

    I landed at HK airport that day at 8.30 p.m. No trains but I was on a bus within 40 minutes, after queueing with several hundred patient and peaceful passengers: less time than I have sometimes waited for the tube at Heathrow. Slow journey till the first toll gate (Lantau East) but not a lot slower than I have had in some cities without disruption, and then superfast as usual. From landing to reaching Central Hong Kong – about 4 hours.

    All in all, not a lot worse than some cities at their best.

    Half of the traffic seemed to be 7-seater cars with a single passenger (but dual plates!), by the way. Hmmm!

    Sadly, the media coverage of Hong Kong can be very inaccurate (for the sake of generating headlines), thereby giving an exaggerated picture of the general situation. Media which DON’T seem to be motivated by headlines or to have an agenda are The Economist, Bloomberg, and the South China Morning Post (despite it being Mainland-owned). Weirdly, the “red tops” seem less extreme than supposedly serious papers, including the Big Pink One, which is still smarting, it seems, from its Hong Kong reporter having been called out for becoming part of the news instead of reporting it – the cardinal sin of journalism.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    cwoodward
    Participant

    For those not familiar with HK these dual plated 7 seater luxury vans to which TupeloKid refers are vehicles that are licenced to drive in both the mainland and HK.
    Most of them are ether legal or illegal hire vehicles many possibly hired on the day by protesters or simply illegally plying for hire by protesters seeking to get to/from the airport.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    frustratedflyer
    Participant

    I have to agree that the coverage of the protests can really make you concerned about travelling to HKG.

    I transited the airport without a hitch at the weekend and arrived back in Hong Kong last night.

    I have been in meetings around Wan Chai most of today and have seen nothing and experienced no disruption.

    I do visit once a month or so and since the protests have started have only once experienced a problem when trying to get a cab (there were none about)!

    The impact on the Hong Kong economy is clearly starting to bite, but my message would be to avoid certain areas at weekends, but Hong Kong is most certainly open for business!

    I am also told if you want to visit Disneyland at the moment it is pretty deserted!

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    Dear frustratedflyer, I don’t know if you have direct contact with MartynSinclair but if you do please ask him to pass to you my personal email, and get in touch. It would be good to meet up!

    Regarding the protests:

    We check the latest news before we head out, and sometimes take different routes to avoid hotspots, but so far have not had to change our plans much.

    The effect on HK’s wider economy isn’t impacting my own area much but there is no doubt that some industries are hurting (tourism for instance). It is also certainly the case that foreign media are overplaying the issue. That’s understandable, but disappointing, because it creates unnecessary tension at all sorts of levels. It is interesting, but sad, that this sort of coverage only makes the local situation more difficult to resolve.

    The current state of affairs is undoubtedly serious, and often very inconvenient, but the risk to anyone with a mild sense of self-preservation, and access to the internet, is pretty low. There have been multiple protests in Central (where I work) but it is pretty easy to work out when things are getting “interesting” because the chanting starts long before anything else.

    The disruption to transport is a pain, no doubt about that. However, taking sensible precautions, I still consider myself safer here than in most international cities.

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Today’s report from Aerotelegraph [DE] reveals that passenger numbers at Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon declined by 11 per cent last month.

    What I find significant is that demand for premium travel (the most lucrative traffic) “declined sharply compared to leisure travel.”

    It also mentions that “Demand from regional markets, especially mainland China and northeast Asia, to Hong Kong was severely affected.”

    Passagierzahlen von Cathay Pacific sinken um 11 Prozent


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    TupeloKid
    Participant

    I have to agree that the coverage of the protests can really make you concerned about travelling to HKG.

    I transited the airport without a hitch at the weekend and arrived back in Hong Kong last night.

    I have been in meetings around Wan Chai most of today and have seen nothing and experienced no disruption.

    I do visit once a month or so and since the protests have started have only once experienced a problem when trying to get a cab (there were none about)!

    The impact on the Hong Kong economy is clearly starting to bite, but my message would be to avoid certain areas at weekends, but Hong Kong is most certainly open for business!

    I am also told if you want to visit Disneyland at the moment it is pretty deserted!

    In the 3 months since the protests started, I have been delayed on the way from the airport once (as in my post above) in 3 trips over that time, had to take a cab to Kowloon once (in order not to be late for a funeral – but I could equally have taken a bus), and been advised by my wife once to take a different route to the swimming pool. Aside from that, I would seriously not have known anything was going on if it hadn’t been on the news. And it’s not that I don’t get out!!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    stevescoots
    Participant

    Our piece today.

    Cathay Pacific planning capacity cuts

    <iframe title=”“Cathay Pacific planning capacity cuts” — Business Traveller” class=”wp-embedded-content” sandbox=”allow-scripts” security=”restricted” src=”https://www.businesstraveller.com/business-travel/2019/09/11/cathay-pacific-planning-capacity-cuts/embed/#?secret=YGWy3ZYC2S” data-secret=”YGWy3ZYC2S” width=”500″ height=”470″ frameborder=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no”></iframe>

    prices seem to be going up rather than down though!


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    @stevecoots – ‘prices seem to be going up rather than down though’

    Agreed.

    Interestingly, I wrote to the airport Marriott 2 weeks ago, to ask if it is possible to walk and access the airport in the event of roads being blocked. The email went to BONVOY. No reply yet.

    I am arranging for all my meetings to be at the airport hotel – will avoid Kowloon – in the hope I can access the airport if roads are blocked.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Following on from yesterday’s news … Cathay Pacific will be suspending flights from Dublin effective November 9.

    It’s come as a surprise to many seeing as Cathay Pacific would have held the monopoly for direct/non-stop flights between Dublin and Asia.

    Until recently China’s Hainan Airlines operated to Beijing and Shennzen but these services have or are about to be cancelled.

    Cathay Pacific to suspend Dublin-Hong Kong


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    Interestingly, I wrote to the airport Marriott 2 weeks ago, to ask if it is possible to walk and access the airport in the event of roads being blocked. The email went to BONVOY. No reply yet.

    Dear Martyn, I’ve never tried to walk between the Marriott and the Airport, but I know the area quite well since there used to be a lovely little nine-hole golf course between them (and after playing there we used to go to the Marriott for dinner).Sadly, the course has gone as the area is being redeveloped as part of the airport expansion project.

    I wouldn’t have recommended that walk even back in the old days. I certainly wouldn’t recommend it now with the expansion works. And I very definitely wouldn’t recommend it if there are protests in the area.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
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