Hong Kong: As the anti-government protests in Hong Kong continue to grow increasingly violent, several Asian airlines, including Indian carriers SpiceJet and AirAsia have taken the decision to cut flights to the city.
While SpiceJet has suspended all its flights between Mumbai and Hong Kong through January 15, 2020, AirAsia has put off flights from Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu in Malaysia in the months of December and January.
Earlier in the day, hundreds of protestors of Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University remained holed up in the campus for more than 12 hours. The Hong Kong police even fired tear gas at demonstrators attempting to escape university campus.
Condemning the escalating violence, Hong Kong police said that the latest attacks by rioters imitated terrorism.
As a result, latest schedules of several Asian airlines – including India’s SpiceJet Ltd, Malaysia’s AirAsia Group Bhd, South Korea’s JejuAir Co Ltd, PT Garuda Indonesia (Persero) Tbk, Jin Air Co Ltd and the Philippines’ PAL Holdings Inc and Cebu Air Inc – showed cancellations of flights.
The Airport Authority Hong Kong earlier even reported a decline of nearly 13 per cent in passengers and a 6.1 per cent drop in inbound and outbound flights, marking the highest fall since the unrest began five months ago.
An extremely volatile day hitherto unseen in the anti-government protest movement that has been roiling the Asian financial hub since June this year. At least 4,491 people have been arrested, aged between 11 to 83, for offences including unlawful assembly, rioting, possession of offensive weapon, arson, and assaulting police, among others.