All flights departing Hong Kong International airport have been cancelled effective immediately in wake of massive protests according to a statement posted on Cathay Pacific Airways website.
Thousands of anti-government protesters have descended on the airport, one of the world’s busiest, thronging both the departures and arrivals halls and preventing normal operation.
The cancellations will have major repercussions both regionally and globally. Hong Kong’s airport is a major regional hub, handling 1,100 passenger and cargo flights daily, with services between the city and about 200 international destinations.
There are fears police will attempt to clear the airport, which has become a prime target for protesters in recent days in part due to an assumption authorities would not be willing to use the tear gas and other forceful tactics they have deployed elsewhere.
The crowd at the airport is considerably different to that seen at other, more violent protests, with many more elderly people, and protesters not wearing the masks and protective gear which have become a common sight across the city.