- Flights have been cancelled on Monday afternoon following an overwhelming number of demonstrators that arrived at the Hong Kong International Airport.
- The protesters rallied against continued police brutality amid the issue of the controversial extradition bill
- Several countries affected by the airport closure have already issued several warnings for Hong Kong prior to the event, leading to potential economic losses and negative psychological impact among passengers.
Almost 200 flights have been cancelled Monday due to a huge number of protesters that flocked to Hong Kong’s international airport in protest of the police use of force over the weekend.
All departures and inbound flights were cancelled in the afternoon except for flights departing the city which have completed boarding.
Protesters have started filling the arrival hall in the main terminal while the others flocked to the departure hall, leaving the airport with no choice but to issue a statement that its operations had been “seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly.”
On Sunday, authorities reportedly fired tear gas inside a subway station amid series of police violence against demonstrators. Other police officers were allegedly disguised as protesters and hit a woman in the eye with a bean bag round.
Many protesters reportedly left the airport at around 6pm after getting word that the police might take action anew.
Yang Guang, a spokesperson for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, which oversees Chinese policy toward the two cities, said: “Hong Kong’s radical demonstrators have repeatedly attacked police officers with extremely dangerous means.”
The spokesman added that such demonstrations “have already constituted serious violent crimes and have begun to show signs of terrorism.”
It’s still too early to assess the economic impact of Monday’s shutdown, said Eleanor Wan, the CEO of BEA Union Investment Management, an investment firm based in the city,
Wan noted, however, that the airport closure will have a “negative psychological impact,” on Hong Kong, as several countries have already issued travel warnings for the city.
More than 74 million passengers have reportedly travelled to and from the Hong Kong International Airport last year.
It has been three months since protests have started in opposition to the controversial extradition bill.
Once passed, the measure will allow local authorities to handover people to mainland China, known for violating human rights of its people.