Aviation

Flights resume as Hong Kong airport shuts out protesters

Normal flight movement has returned at Hong Kong International Airport today after five consecutive days of disruption.

The airport has confirmed it operated smoothly yesterday, with over 1,000 flights handled through strict rescheduling and normal movement operation expected to resume today.

Qantas operated four flights overnight, with four more departing this morning, while Virgin Australia played catch up on overnight delays, according to News Corp, but now appear to be operating as scheduled.

“We will continue to monitor the situation in Hong Kong, and will provide any updates as they come available,” a Virgin Australian spokesperson told Travel Weekly.

See also: Flights delayed at Hong Kong airport as protesters clash with police

Cathay Pacific flights also appear to be back on track, but some delays were experienced overnight.

Nearly 1,000 flights in and out of Hong Kong International Airport have been cancelled since Friday, with 421 occurring on Monday alone when the airport was temporarily shut down.

The disruptions resulted from thousands of peaceful, pro-democracy protesters descending on the airport to engage in sit-ins which escalated into violent clashes with police.

The airport cracked down on protesters yesterday afternoon, implementing access control at the terminal buildings, prohibiting those who don’t have a valid boarding pass for a flight within 24 hours and a valid travel document from entering the terminal buildings.

“Other members of the public, including those who may want to accompany departure passengers or receiving arrival passengers at the airport should not travel to the airport unless absolutely necessary,” according to a notice posted on the airport’s website.

Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) said in a statement it regrets the disruptions and thanked its staff for continuing to perform duties professionally during the disruptions.

“The AA condemns the several violent incidents happened at the airport on Tuesday and sends regards to those wounded,” AA said.

Featured image credit: AP.

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