Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

09.50 12 Aug 2019


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Hong Kong airport has cancelled all flights for the rest of the day amid continuing pro-democracy protests.

Thousands of demonstrators have descended on the airport in recent days, as part of their efforts to draw international attention to their complaints about the region's government.

An estimated 5,000 protesters were in the airport at one point today.

This afternoon local time, Hong Kong Airport Authority confirmed all arrivals and departures had been cancelled for the rest of the day.

They said passengers were "advised to leave the terminal buildings as soon as possible".

Photos shared on social media indicated large crowds remained at the airport, while there were huge queues at bus and train stops due to passengers and demonstrators trying to leave the airport.

Earlier, local airline Cathay Pacific said it had been told by the airport officials that all departing flights are cancelled for the rest of today due to the protest at the arrival hall.

It said customers should "postpone non-essential travel and should not proceed to the airport".

Hong Kong Airport's own departure site earlier suggested flights where the check-in process had been completed were departing as planned - but later flights were all cancelled.

hong kong airport Protesters surround banners that read: "Those charge to the street on today is brave!," center top, and "Release all the detainees!" during a sit-in rally at the arrival hall of the Hong Kong International airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. Hong Kong police showed off water cannons Monday as pro-democracy street protests stretched into their 10th week with no sign of either side backing down. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Protests

Protests continued throughout the city over the weekend, with fresh clashes between police and activists.

Local media reported one woman suffered a ruptured eye during demonstrations last night.

Mass demonstrations began two months ago over a controversial extradition bill which would have allowed suspects to be sent to mainland China.

That bill has since been suspended, but activists have continued to take to the streets.

Protesters have called for chief executive Carrie Lam to resign and for an investigation to be carried out into the police handling of the recent unrest.

Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific has warned staff to not take part in the ongoing demonstrations.

The South China Morning Post quotes a message from chief executive Rupert Hogg, saying staff who “support or participate in illegal protests” would face disciplinary action that “could be serious and may include termination of employment”.

Chinese authorities have previously threatened action in Hong Kong if the unrest continues.

Main image: Protesters demonstrate at the airport in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. Picture by: Vincent Thian/AP/Press Association Images

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