AFP: Hong Kong protests shut airport as China anger mounts13 August 2019 | 01:07 | FOCUS News Agency
The abrupt shutdown came as the Chinese government signalled its rising anger at the protesters, denouncing some of the violent demonstrations as "terrorism", and the United States urged "all sides" to refrain from violence.
Following Monday's shutdown, authorities said they were aiming to reopen the airport by 6:00 am Tuesday (2200 GMT Monday), but hundreds of protesters remained in the arrivals hall well into the night, with no sign that they were planning on leaving.
It was the 10th consecutive weekend that protesters had taken to the streets in a movement that began over opposition to a bill allowing extradition to mainland China.
The protests have morphed into a broader bid to reverse a slide of democratic freedoms in the southern Chinese city, which is a global financial centre.
Early Tuesday, the website of Hong-Kong-based carrier Cathay Pacific showed all its arrivals and departures cancelled into the afternoon.
The airport listed some flights of other airlines with departures estimated from around 7:00 am, while some trans-continental flights were to arrive early Tuesday.
The disruption marked yet another dramatic escalation in a 10-week crisis that had already become the biggest challenge to Chinese rule of Hong Kong since the 1997 British handover.
On Monday a crowd of protesters that authorities said numbered more than 5,000 descended on the airport carrying placards and chanting slogans about police violence.
Although other rallies had been held there over the previous three days, Monday's was the first to have a significant impact on passengers.
The airport authority said operations "have been seriously disrupted as a result of the public assembly".
At least 150 flights were cancelled at the world's eighth busiest airport, which handles around 200,000 passengers a day.
Cathay Pacific advised passengers to "postpone non-essential travel".
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