Hong Kong – flights unpredictable
Yesterday, flights to and from Hong Kong – one of the worlds busiest airports, were extensively disrupted due to the protests against the Hong Kong administration and the Beijing government. Over 200 flights were cancelled.
Airport reopens today
Hong Kong International Airport is up and running again today – dealing with the stranded passengers from yesterday.
Protests are scheduled to continue this week, so I think it is safe to say, that continued disruption can be expected.
Qantas and Virgin
Qantas runs daily flight to Hong Kong from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Virgin flies daily from Sydney and Melbourne to Hong Kong.
Qantas is running a warning header over the top of its website as you can see (above). Virgin, doesn’t seem to display any warning even if you try and book.
The protesters have deliberately chosen the International airport for their peaceful protests as a way of communicating to the international community. Presumably, police will think twice before applying to the airport protests the plastic bullet and tear gas strategy they have used on the streets of Hong Kong. The risk of involving international travellers could be a PR disaster for the authorities.
However the situation is highly unpredictable, and I for one, despite my journalistic instincts would tend to stay well away from the airport. Maybe I am getting timider as I age.
The closing of the airport which sees over 200,000 passengers transit it each day, along with the other disruptions the protest are causing is having a dramatic effect on the Hong Kong economy.
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s Chief Executive is reported as saying:
“After the violence has been stopped, and the chaotic situation that we are seeing could subside, . . . I as the chief executive will be responsible to rebuild Hong Kong’s economy … to help Hong Kong to move on.”Carrie Lam
Police tactics and internet trolls
Police have started using ‘plain clothes’ tactics to disrupt the protesters, as my former colleague Stephen McDonall reports for the BBC:
I’d be postponing any travel to Hong Kong if I were you, unless you have a particular taste for tear gas and trouble.