HONG KONG, Aug 12: Hong Kong’s airport came to a near halt on Monday, with more than 150 flights canceled after thousands of demonstrators flooded one of the world’s busiest transportation hubs in a show of anger over the police’s response to protests the night before, report agencies.
The airport said in an afternoon statement that all flights had been canceled for the rest of the day other than those already en route to Hong Kong.
Almost 150 departures and more than two dozen arrivals were affected, according to the airport’s website.
The move was a stark display of the power of the antigovernment protests, which are now in their third month, to disrupt the basic functioning of Hong Kong, an Asian financial hub known for order and efficiency. Its airport is a crucial connection point for regional air travel.
“Other than departure flights that have completed the check- in process and the arrival flights already heading to Hong Kong, all other flights have been canceled for the rest of today,” the authority said in a statement.
Traffic on roads to the airport was very congested and car park spaces were full, the authority said.
The increasingly violent protests have plunged Chinese-ruled Hong Kong into its most serious crisis in decades and presented a serious challenge to Beijing.
Members of the largely leaderless movement had called for the demonstration after a night of clashes on Sunday during which the police fired tear gas inside one subway station and chased protesters down an escalator in another. Many airport demonstrators on Monday were angry that a woman at one of the Sunday protest sites had been hit by a projectile in her eye.