China Hong KongHundreds stranded at the international airport, while protestors from all walks of life rally against its pro-Beijing leaders

Over 200 flights cancelled as Hong Kong ramps up strikes

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Flight disruptions at HKIA are set to worsen as protestors coordinate using social messaging apps to bring Hong Kong to a standstill.
Flight disruptions at HKIA are set to worsen as protestors coordinate using social messaging apps to bring Hong Kong to a standstill.

In the city itself, commuters continued to struggle to commute especially during the morning rush hour, since many rail and bus services were suspended, while activists continued to block trains from leaving the stations by forcing umbrellas through or standing between the doors.

Protestors had warned of a city-wide strike on Monday 5 August to ramp up pressure on its pro-Beijing leaders, a move which has since led to over 200 – and counting – cancelled flights and disruptions at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) today.

One of the world’s busiest air hubs, more than 2300 aviation staff including air traffic controllers, ground operations crew and staff from various airlines joined the strike, partially “paralysing the airport” said Carol Ng, chairwoman of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions.

Reuters reported that hundreds of people were stranded at HKIA, where passengers are advised “to check with their airlines for the latest flight information, and to proceed to the airport only when their seats and flight time have been confirmed,” in a statement issued by the Airport Authority.

Affected airlines include Hong Kong Airlines and Cathay Pacific. Even the Airport Express train services were also momentarily suspended.

The Airport Emergency Centre had to be activated at 7am this morning to coordinate operations at the airport, said the HKIA.

In the city itself, commuters continued to struggle to commute especially during the morning rush hour, since many rail and bus services were suspended, while activists continued to block trains from leaving the stations by forcing umbrellas through or standing between the doors.

Although Hong Kong’s famous tram is back on the rails, latest figures show tourism has taken a plunge, putting on pause a momentum that looked to reach a record 65.1 million visitors.

Hong Kong is now two months into a still escalating protests movement in response to the government’s planned extradition law. Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong are taking a equally tough stance, with the Chinese military declaring they are ready to quell the “intolerable” unrest once requested.

Today’s strike comes on the back of a press conference on 3 August, where strike organisers mentioned some 14,000 people have committed to the strike, including bus drivers, aviation crew, civil servants and even employees of Disneyland Hong Kong.

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