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Hong Kong protests cause massive flight disruption

Cathay Pacific and Hong Kong Airlines have cancelled a large number of flights in and out of Hong Kong, as ongoing city-wide protests against an unpopular extradition bill wear on.

As of 12 noon on 5 August, Cathay Pacific and units Cathay Dragon and HK Express have cancelled more than 150 flights in and out of the city on 5 August. These were flights to various points across Asia.

Cathay Pacific and Cathay Dragon have cancelled a further 13 flights in and out of Hong Kong on 6 August.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Airlines has cancelled more than 30 flights in and out of Hong Kong International Airport on 5 and 6 August. These include points such as Bangkok, Shanghai Pudong and Tokyo Narita.

It was not just Hong Kong carriers that suspended flights. China Airlines and subsidiary Mandarin Airlines, which have flights to Hong Kong from points such as Taipei Taoyuan, Kaohsiung and Jakarta, have also suspended some flights to Hong Kong. Fellow Taiwanese carrier EVA Air has also pulled flights to and from the city.

Cirium's FlightStats also shows that other carriers like Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific Air, Air China and Shanghai Airlines have cancelled flights to and from Hong Kong on 5 August.

In a notice on its website, Hong Kong International Airport says "potential circumstances" on 5 August might affect flight operations. It advised passengers to check with their airlines for the latest flight information.

The South China Morning Post reported that Hong Kong International Airport could only have one of its two runways operational between 5 and 6 August, as result of the strikes.

The disruptions to flight services come as air traffic controllers went on strike, as part of the anti-government protests.

Hong Kong has been rocked by protests for the past two months, over the government's decision to introduce an unpopular extradition bill. It was later shelved, but protesters have demanded the full withdrawal of the bill and an investigation into the way the political crisis has been handled.

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