Hong Kong airport struggles to reopen on Tuesday as pro-democracy protests continue

Hong Kong’s airport failed to reopen on Tuesday with more than 300 flights cancelled, a day after a pro-democracy protest brought the air transport hub to a standstill.

The city’s leader Carrie Lam denounced the demonstrations saying that “lawbreaking activities in the name of freedom” were damaging the rule of law, and that the Asian financial hub’s recovery from anti-government protests could take a long time.

On Tuesday morning, stranded passengers were spotted lining up to catch their delayed flights, as airport authorities announced that it will implement rescheduling. Passengers with luggage were being checked in for flights, as only a handful of the thousands of protesters who flooded into the airport a day earlier remained in the building.

The flight status board at the departures hall showed several flights listed as “boarding soon” with new take-off times listed for others.

The South China Morning Post reported that as many as 160 outbound and 150 inbound flights were already cancelled for the rest of the day on Tuesday.

By afternoon on Tuesday, protesters soon began to descend on departures hall for another mass sit-in. And soon, the airport authority said in a statement that flight operations at the Hong Kong’s international airport were suspended for the day.

As soon as the airport authorities confirmed about the suspension of flight operations protesters began cheering and applauding.

Authorities don’t know when the airport would get back to regular operations.

Many protesters on Monday were angered by the police crackdown on Sunday that injured several people and left at least one female medic blinded in one eye. Police officers were seen firing tear gas at protesters inside a train station, while beating some with their batons.There have also been allegations of authorities impersonating protesters and trying to stir up violence to draw the attention of the riot police.

Hundreds of passengers stranded at the airport understood the protests, and also sympathised with the protesters despite the disruption.

Source : Various