Hong Kong Airport Disruptions Resume With “Unauthorized Assembly” – Airport Express Operations Suspended!

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After a night of chaos in Hong Kong, local activists are currently gathering at the airport again which will likely cause disruptions over the day, especially that now all Hong Kong Airport Express Services are suspended for the time being.

The protest at the airport is described by the authorities as an “unauthorized assembly” even though access to the actual terminal has been prohibited to non-passengers since mid-August.

We have covered the situation in Hong Kong extensively over the past few months and events have since spiraled increasingly out of control with, most recently, Cathay Pacific bearing the brunt of the momentum with the CEO resigning and the company threatening sanctions on line employees.

The Guardian just reported that tensions are high at HK Airport today and travelers should plan accordingly.

Thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators have descended on Hong Kong’s international airport, blocking roads and filling a bus terminus, in the latest wave of political unrest to hit the city.

Less than 24 hours after protesters and police clashed in running battles on Saturday, demonstrators attempted to paralyse the airport, a major regional hub, on Sunday.

Protesters streamed towards the airport, blocking off a road leading to the departure hall. Outside the airport exits, protesters dismantled fences and constructed barricades. …

Authorities shut a train service linking the city to the airport and several buses stopped running. Authorities also set up road blocks and were seen searching cars approaching the airport. Police along a bridge took photos of approaching cars. …

Cathay Pacific has also published the information that the airport express has been shut down via Twitter (see image above).

There is also a live feed on Youtube featuring Hong Kong Airport.

Hong Kong Free Press reported that protesters briefly entered the airport terminal which is forbidden to non-passengers since mid-August but got chased away by the police. They then hid in the washrooms and were tracked down by security.

Hundreds of protesters briefly stormed Hong Kong’s airport on Sunday, despite attempts to heighten security in anticipation of a planned demonstration.

At around 1:20pm, a group of masked protesters stormed the ground floor of Terminal 1, shattering a glass door blocking their path. They were chased off by airport police officers soon after.

The Hong Kong International Airport remained on partial lockdown in the afternoon, with at least one entrance closed. Airport staff have also set up barriers and gates which block certain entrances. Riot police were spotted arriving at Terminal 1 at around 1:50pm.

Meanwhile, the MTR Corporation announced that Airport Express trains heading into the airport have stopped, while trains leading away from the airport will run at 10-minute intervals. The move was made at the request of the government and the Airport Authority, the railway firm said.

At the arrival hall, one officer chased a male protester who attempted to seek refuge in the male toilets. HKFP footage showed how the man tripped and was beaten by the officer with his baton. The officer then tried to check the stalls for any hidden protesters.

Two female security guards were also seen checking the female bathroom for hiding protesters. A guard found three women in a bathroom stall, and told them to show their boarding passes. The women replied that one of them had lost their phone and they were just trying to find it.

The wording of the train service restriction sounds like it’s just not possible to go TO the airport but the trains are still running and will be able to pick people up from the airport and transport them to the city.

Conclusion

Without the Airport Express passengers have limited choices for reaching HKIA on Lantau Island. They could of course use a taxi or UBER, or alternatively try a bus, but seems like certain bus lines have been shut down as well.

I’d also monitor the actual delays of the airlines services and general HKG departure notices as it’s not outside the realm of possibility that cancellations might happen once again.

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