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Hong Kong airport reopens after protest shutdown tarnishes business image

Updated : 2019-08-13 09:01:05

The Hong Kong airport says it will restart flights starting at 6 am Tuesday after it completely shut down operations when thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators occupied its main terminal. All flights Monday that had not completed check-in procedures by afternoon were canceled, as were arriving flights that had not yet taken off. Mass flight cancellations at Hong Kong's airport disrupted one of the world's busiest air-transport hubs on Monday, causing chaos for tourists and business travelers and playing havoc with global airlines' flight schedules— a fresh escalation of the city's protest movement that threatens the Asian city's business-friendly image. Thousands of supporters of the largely leaderless pro-democracy protest movement descended on the terminal in an effort to get the message out to the world about their struggle and the harsh tactics used by police. Many wore eyepatches to show their solidarity with a female protester who reportedly was hit in the eye by a projectile fired by police. The protests, which have seen both sides adopt increasingly extreme tactics, had until Monday been mostly confined to neighborhoods across the former British colony. But the airport protest, which caused the cancellation of more than 150 flights, was a rare case of the movement having a direct impact on business travel and tourism — mainstays of the Asian business center's economy.

Passengers queue at check-in counters as the airport reopened a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Passengers queue at check-in counters as the airport reopened a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Protesters surround banners that read:
Protesters surround banners that read: "Those on the street today are all warriors!" center top, and "Release all the detainees!" during a sit-in rally at the arrival hall of the Hong Kong International airport in Hong Kong, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. Hong Kong airport suspends check-in for all remaining flights Monday due to ongoing pro-democracy protest in terminal. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
A man looks at the flight information board shows outbound flights was cancel at the Hong Kong International airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. One of the world's busiest airports cancelled all remaining flights for the day after thousands of pro-democracy protesters crowded into the main terminal. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
A man looks at the flight information board shows outbound flights was cancel at the Hong Kong International airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. One of the world's busiest airports cancelled all remaining flights for the day after thousands of pro-democracy protesters crowded into the main terminal. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Travelers gather at the closed check-in counters as protesters stage a protest at the Hong Kong International Airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Travelers gather at the closed check-in counters as protesters stage a protest at the Hong Kong International Airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Australian Penny Tilley, center, reacts next to stranded travelers at the closed check-in counters at the Hong Kong International Airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Australian Penny Tilley, center, reacts next to stranded travelers at the closed check-in counters at the Hong Kong International Airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Protesters gather at the closed check-in counters at the Hong Kong International Airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Protesters gather at the closed check-in counters at the Hong Kong International Airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Protesters stage a sit-in protest at the Hong Kong International Airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Protesters stage a sit-in protest at the Hong Kong International Airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Protest placards are placed around the flights information board as thousands of protesters stage a sit-in protest at the Hong Kong International Airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Protest placards are placed around the flights information board as thousands of protesters stage a sit-in protest at the Hong Kong International Airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
Passengers sit near a closed duty-free shop at the Hong Kong International airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Passengers sit near a closed duty-free shop at the Hong Kong International airport, Monday, Aug. 12, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Anti-extradition bill protesters rest during a mass demonstration after a woman was shot in the eye, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 12, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Anti-extradition bill protesters rest during a mass demonstration after a woman was shot in the eye, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 12, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
Passengers queue at Cathay Pacific's counters a day after the airport was closed due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Passengers queue at Cathay Pacific's counters a day after the airport was closed due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Some anti-extradition bill protesters rest on the floor a day after the airport was closed due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Some anti-extradition bill protesters rest on the floor a day after the airport was closed due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Passengers react as they check the flight information board a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Passengers react as they check the flight information board a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Passengers queue as the airport reopened a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Passengers queue as the airport reopened a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Passengers react as they check the flight information board as the airport reopened a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Passengers react as they check the flight information board as the airport reopened a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Passengers queue as the airport reopened a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Passengers queue as the airport reopened a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Anti-extradition bill protesters rest as the airport reopened a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Anti-extradition bill protesters rest as the airport reopened a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Anti-extradition bill protesters rest as the airport reopened a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Anti-extradition bill protesters rest as the airport reopened a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
A view of the flight information board as the airport reopened a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
A view of the flight information board as the airport reopened a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Passengers queue as the airport reopened a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
Passengers queue as the airport reopened a day after flights were halted due to a protest, at Hong Kong International Airport, China August 13, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato
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