Hong Kong International Airport has canceled all outbound flights for the rest of August 12 due to anti-government protests within the facility. The airport has also published a Notam notifying nearby countries to keep scheduled inbound flights on the ground, adding that those that departed should expect possible diversions. The airport authority canceled more than 130 flights Monday afternoon after at least 1,000 protesters moved to the security gates and police arrived with riot gear, according to OpsGroup.
By 7 p.m. roughly half of the protesters had left the airport, while the remainder continued to lay on the floor and lobby incoming passengers, according to the Wall Street Journal.
According to the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, more than 2,300 aviation employees joined Monday’s general citywide strike, including 1,200 Cathay Pacific cabin crew and pilots. Cathay warned its employees not to participate in the demonstrations or face the prospect of firing after the Civil Aviation Administration of China issued a so-called severe risk alert indicating that Cathay Pacific failed to suspend flight staff accused of crimes related to the recent “riots,” and leaked flight passenger information with “ill intent,” posing potential serious risks to aviation safety and increasing the “inflow of safety risks” from Hong Kong to the mainland.