Flights resume after second night of chaos at Hong Kong airport

22 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
8:24 a.m. ET, August 13, 2019

Almost 700 people have been arrested this summer

As some protesters embrace more extreme -- and sometimes violent -- tactics, police are beginning to make arrests.

Almost 700 people have been arrested since protests began on June 9, according to police, for a range of offenses including "taking part in a riot," unlawful assembly, assaulting police officers, resisting arrest and possession of offensive weapons.

Those found guilty face up to 10 years in jail. The youngest person charged is a 16-year-old girl.

As part of their list of core demands, protesters are demanding the government release those arrested and detained and drop all charges -- which the government appears to have no intention of doing.

8:29 a.m. ET, August 13, 2019

Airport standoff is "very worrying" for businesses, exec says

Flight attendants walk past a display board covered with memos and posters at Hong Kong's international airport on Tuesday.
Flight attendants walk past a display board covered with memos and posters at Hong Kong's international airport on Tuesday. Philip Fong/AFP/Getty Images

The latest showdown at Hong Kong's international airport is extremely concerning for businesses, says Davide De Rosa, chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

Prior to this week's disruptions, companies were already worried that the protests would tarnish Hong Kong's image as a global financial hub and a favored gateway to China.

Now that demonstrations appear to be blocking operations at the airport, "this particular action is having [an] echo all over the world," said De Rosa.

"It just simply doesn’t look good ... It's a very worrying situation for the businesses, or for the companies doing business in Hong Kong, and then for Hong Kong itself," he told CNN on Tuesday.

It doesn’t look like a situation that can resolved soon. I think it looks like a longer situation than expected.” 
8:16 a.m. ET, August 13, 2019

Why have Hong Kong's protests escalated again?

A protester takes a break under graffiti at Hong Kong airport on Monday night.
A protester takes a break under graffiti at Hong Kong airport on Monday night. CNN/Ben Westcott

The Hong Kong airport demonstrations have been characterized by protesters wearing eye patches as well as posters and graffiti saying "an eye for an eye."

They refer to a protest on Sunday, where demonstrators claim a female nurse who was taking part had her eye badly injured when she was allegedly shot with a projectile by police.

Prominent protesters claims she was blinded in that eye. CNN has not been able to confirm her injury but there are photographs showing a woman lying bloody and stunned on the ground.

Outrage around stories of the injury sparked protesters to head to the airport in large numbers on Monday, leading to the first shutdown.

8:13 a.m. ET, August 13, 2019

Tensions between passengers and protesters spill over

Tense confrontations are erupting between travelers and protesters at Hong Kong airport as flights are canceled for a second straight day.

Groups have had brief shouting matches, with protesters yelling “free Hong Kong” and frustrated passengers growing weary of the chaos.

Analysis on the ground: It's a tense scene over here. One airline employee told me that a lot of people are upset. They have children, there are elderly people. Some have visa problems. Others are losing money. All in all, there are plenty of frustrated travels who want nothing more than to sleep in their own beds tonight.

8:02 a.m. ET, August 13, 2019

Here's what we know

Hundreds of protesters have shut down Hong Kong's International Airport for a second straight day, with all check-ins suspended and dozens of outgoing flights canceled.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Flights canceled: All outbound flights that have not completed the check-in process have been canceled after hundreds of protesters descended on the city's international airport. It is unknown at this point whether police will attempt to clear protesters from the airport -- they did not during a similar protest on Monday.
  • Escalating battle: Riot police fired tear gas inside a subway station Sunday night after clashing with protesters -- but confrontation in the airport, one of the busiest in the world, would mark a huge escalation.
  • Daily sit-ins: This is the fifth day of massive protests at the airport. Protesters began the sit-ins on Friday, in opposition to alleged police brutality and an extradition bill.
  • Weekend of violence: The weekend was filled with violence -- as has become the norm. Police fired tear gas across several locations citywide on both Saturday and Sunday, and at least nine people were injured on Sunday. Images of a young female protester being wounded in the eye have galvanized protesters into an 11th week.

7:52 a.m. ET, August 13, 2019

Luggage carts used to blockade airport security gates

Protesters build a blockade of luggage carts around the entrance to the security area at Hong Kong airport.
Protesters build a blockade of luggage carts around the entrance to the security area at Hong Kong airport. CNN/Joshua Berlinger

Protesters have used luggage carts to effectively block the entrances to the airport's departure gate at Terminal 1 ahead of security check.

Behind the blockade, hundreds of protesters have sat down. “We’re here just here to express our voice to the government,” one 22-year-old woman, who is about to become a teacher, said.

“Today the action is not organized by one group. Everyone just wanted to come out and speak out ... we don't only have one purpose.”

They’re not sure how long they’re staying. As with many of the recent protests in Hong Kong, there’s not a concrete plan.

7:51 a.m. ET, August 13, 2019

Here's what the airport looks like right now

Protesters occupy Hong Kong airport arrivals hall on August 13, 2019.
Protesters occupy Hong Kong airport arrivals hall on August 13, 2019. Joshua Berlinger/CNN

Hong Kong's airport has been thrown into chaos for the second day in a row, with all check-ins suspended and dozens of outgoing flights canceled.

Hundreds of protesters blocked security gates at one of the world's largest commuter hubs on Tuesday, with passengers struggling to get through the demonstrators to their gates.

Demonstrators hold protest signs in the arrivals hall of Hong Kong airport.
Demonstrators hold protest signs in the arrivals hall of Hong Kong airport. Joshua Berlinger/CNN

7:47 a.m. ET, August 13, 2019

Plane turns back over airport chaos

Scoot planes at the Changi International Airport terminal in Singapore.
Scoot planes at the Changi International Airport terminal in Singapore. ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images

Singapore's Scoot airline had to turn a flight around just as it was about to arrive in Hong Kong on Monday, a company spokesperson told CNN.

Passengers on Scoot Flight TR980 were scheduled to arrive in Hong Kong around 6 p.m. local time on Monday.

The low-cost carrier was forced to return to Singapore after Hong Kong's airport was temporarily shut down and landed back at Changi Airport at 8.37 p.m. local time.

The company said in a statement that all flights Wednesday will operate as scheduled.

"However, Scoot is monitoring the situation closely as it remains uncertain," it added.

7:38 a.m. ET, August 13, 2019

We're not scared of police action at airport, say protesters

Hundreds of protesters occupy Hong Kong's international airport for the second day in a row.
Hundreds of protesters occupy Hong Kong's international airport for the second day in a row. CNN/Joshua Berlinger

On Monday night, the threat of police action at Hong Kong airport sent hundreds of protesters pouring to buses and trains.

But no officers ever arrived -- and now, with the airport swamped for the second straight night, protesters say they're confident they won't show.

Two students, who asked not to be named, said that while inbound flights were still touching down, police wouldn't attempt to clear the airport.

"Other people from other countries are coming to Hong Kong so if the police come here and do something dangerous, it will hurt other countries' people too," one female protester said.

"So we feel this is more safe to just sit and say what we want. It's more safe than going outside."

Recent weekend protests have seen violent clashes between police and demonstrators, including widespread use of tear gas and improvised weapons.