Everything About the HK Flight Cancellations That Even Led to a Scoot Flight Making a U-Turn

Image: NY Times

Lest you’ve been living under a cave, you would surely have heard of the whole HK-Airport-Kena-Swamped-By-Protestors fiasco. But if you haven’t, here’s a quick update:

On Monday (12 Aug), Hong Kong was forced to shut down its airport after thousands of protestors swarmed the main terminal building.

Image: NYTimes

According to witnesses, the protestors at the airport were very rowdy, hurling slogans against the government and police in Cantonese, English and Mandarin.

Around 200 flights had to be grounded, and many others were affected worldwide. Amongst them, six were from Singapore to Hong Kong: three by Cathay Pacific, two by Singapore Airlines (SIA) and one by…

Scoot.

Everything About the HK Flight Cancellations That Even Led to a Scoot Flight Making a U-Turn

According to Straits TimesScoot flight TR980, which had departed Singapore with 122 passengers, made a U-turn around 30 minutes before it was pegged to land in Hong Kong by 6:05 p.m.

It eventually landed back in Singapore at around 9:10 p.m.

One of the passengers, writer Pearl Liu, 30, said: “At first, the captain said that due to the shut down of the airport, we would land in Macau. But then he said that since Macau airport and all other alternative ones in Shenzhen and Guangzhou were also fully occupied, we had to fly back to Singapore.”

“I find it a bit troublesome as I have to rearrange things.”

Scoot has since apologised for the incident.

“Scoot sincerely apologises for the inconvenience caused,” said the spokesman.

She also added that affected customers can rebook their flights at no extra charge, for Singapore-Hong Kong, Hong Kong-Singapore, Singapore-Macau, or Macau-Singapore, within 14 days of the original flight. Alternatively, they can opt for a full refund on their booking via Scoot travel vouchers.

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Similarly, SIA Flight SQ872, which left Changi Airport at 2:00 p.m., was diverted to Guangzhou airport and landed at 6:42 p.m. After 8:00 p.m., it departed Guangzhou and landed at Changi just before midnight.

The three flights operated by Hong Kong Carrier Cathay Pacific were cancelled, and the other flight operated by Singaporean Airlines faced the same fate.

CAG spokesman Ivan Tan said: “Singapore residents (due to fly to Hong Kong on the affected flights) have been advised to return home or not to leave for the airport given the current situation. Those who had checked in have been allowed to collect their baggage.

“Non-residents have been advised to check with their airline regarding options available to them which may include alternate flights to their final destination for those who were going to transit in Hong Kong.”

Flights could resume early today (13 Aug)

After protestor numbers dwindled in the evening yesterday (12 Aug), airport authorities speculated that flights could resume as early as today. Passengers are urged, however, to check that their flights were confirmed before heading to the airport.

On the other hand, protest organisers have vowed to conduct a large-scale “eye for an eye” sit-in at the airport this afternoon, to protest against the escalation of force by police after another weekend of violent demonstrations across Hong Kong.

This would be the fifth consecutive day that protestors have occupied the airport.

On Sunday (11 Aug), police fired tear gas inside an MTR station for the first time. According to videos, riot police have also been spotted firing pepper balls at close range against protestors.

A woman was allegedly hit in the eye by a police beanbag round and might face permanent blindness in one eye.

China has directed strong language against violent protestors yesterday, saying that they had continuously assaulted police officers with “extremely dangerous tools”.

Protesters “have already committed serious crimes and have begun to show signs of terrorism”, said Mr Yang Guang, a spokesman for the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office of the State Cabinet.

Hong Kong airport cancelling all flights for the rest of the day, and advising the public to stay clear of the airport. Meanwhile China says HK has come to "critical juncture" and says HK shows sign of terrorism

Posted by Discover Hong Kong on Monday, 12 August 2019