Hong Kong airport closure: Chaos for passengers after all flights grounded due to protests

Hundreds of flight have been cancelled, including UK services

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
@SimonCalder
Monday 12 August 2019 12:13
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Protesters occupy Hong Kong Airport

Thousands of British travellers currently trying to travel to, from or through Hong Kong airport are finding it very difficult to get information after the remainder of Monday’s flights were abruptly grounded.

All 10 flights from the UK to Hong Kong due on 12 August have arrived safely: seven on Cathay Pacific, two on British Airways and one on Virgin Atlantic.

On the airport’s official flight departure page, passengers are told: “The page you attempted to access is currently closed for system upgrade, please visit us again later.”

A spokesperson for Hong Kong’s airline, Cathay Pacific, told The Independent: “Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon have been informed by the Hong Kong International Airport Authority that all departing flights are cancelled today, Monday 12 August, effective immediately.

“The cancellation period will extend until the morning of tomorrow, Tuesday 13 August. This is as a result of the public assembly taking place at Hong Kong International Airport.

“Customers are therefore advised to postpone non-essential travel both today (12 August) and tomorrow (13 August) and should not proceed to the airport. Our flights from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester and Dublin are expected to be impacted on 13 August.

“With immediate effect, rebooking and rerouting charges will be waived for all tickets issued worldwide (irrespective of fare type) on or before 12 August for travel with Cathay Pacific on a confirmed booking arriving to and departing from Hong Kong on 12 and 13 August.

“While disruption events like these can change significantly and at short notice, rest assured we are doing everything we can in advance to minimise the impact to customers.

“Our customer service hotline is 0800 917 8260.”

The Foreign Office travel advice says: “A protest at Hong Kong Airport on 12 August has resulted in the cancellation of all flights out of Hong Kong for the remainder of 12 August.

“The airport authorities advise members of the public not to travel to the airport.”

British Airways maintains that its two flights from Hong Kong to Heathrow departing tonight at 11.10pm and 11.45pm are on time, and scheduled to arrive at 4.50am and 5.40am respectively on Tuesday.

The planned departures in the opposite direction, leaving Heathrow for Hong Kong at 1.40pm and 4.45pm, are showing as “on time”.

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