By DASHVEENJIT KAUR / Pic By BLOOMBERG
FLIGHTS bound for Hong Kong from Kuala Lumpur airports were disrupted for a second day yesterday, as protests at the former’s airport continue to rage for five consecutive days.
As Hong Kong authorities shut down the city’s airport on Monday, at least 241 international flights were cancelled, according to plane tracking company Flightradar24 AB.
As of press time, Hong Kong’s airport authority had also suspended flights for a second day as pro-democracy demonstrations in the Chinese territory entered their 10th week, with both sides showing few signs of backing down.
“All check-in services for departing flights have been suspended since 4.30pm (0830 GMT).
“Other departing and arriving flights for the rest of the day will continue to operate and airlines will provide arrangements for passengers who have not completed the departure process,” the airport authority said in a statement.
As for Malaysia, both AirAsia and Malindo Air flights experienced delays, while Malaysia Airlines flights were cancelled since Monday.
Malindo Airways Sdn Bhd CEO Chandran Rama Muthy said the flight to Hong Kong was rescheduled yesterday to almost five hours later.
“No cancellation as of today, but the Hong Kong flight was retimed to almost five hours later,” he told The Malaysian Reserve.
Chandran highlighted that Malindo Air only operates one flight daily to the autonomous region.
AirAsia Group Bhd, according to the travel advisory on its official Twitter account, stated that some of its flights to and from Hong Kong yesterday experienced delays due to the recent closure of the region’s airport.
AirAsia also cancelled several Hong Kong flights on Monday, adhering to the advice of the Hong Kong airport authority.
“AirAsia is also advising guests travelling to and from Hong Kong to prepare for delays and to monitor their flight status at the website,” according to a statement on AirAsia’s official website.
In the meantime, Hong Kong flag carrier Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd said on its website that it has cancelled over 200 flights to and out of the airport yesterday.
Cathay Pacific said it would only operate a limited number of flights for connecting passengers.
In a statement, it said Monday’s protest had damaged Hong Kong’s status as an international aviation hub by seriously disrupting the journeys of thousands of passengers.
In the wake of the government’s shelving of the extradition bill, which would have allowed criminal suspects to be sent back to the mainland, protesters have been trying to broadcast their demands to an international audience.
The five demands of the movement include the bill’s full withdrawal and an independent investigation into police’s use of force at demonstrations, as well as genuine universal suffrage.