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CAAC to Cathay: Crew Members Who Support Hong Kong Protesters Should Be Banned from Mainland Routes

Starting on Friday August 9, at one of the busiest airports in Asia, the Hong Kong International Airport, a large-scale assemblage of citizens who are against the extradition law have gathered. They have been there for the last three days. During the rally, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) issued a major aviation safety risk warning to Cathay Pacific Airways, the flag carrier of Hong Kong.

CAAC said that it is concerned that some crew members of Cathay have been charged with rioting because they have participated in violent attacks, but they were not stopped from flying. In addition, CAAC believes that some Cathay employees have maliciously leaked passenger information, posing a serious threat to aviation safety.

CAAC demanded of Cathay Pacific, starting from the early hours on Saturday morning, that all personnel who participated or supported the “illegal” parades and protests and violent attacks and exhibited “excessive” behaviors should be stopped immediately from performing all duties on the mainland flights. Starting in the early morning on Sunday, Cathay Pacific was required submit to the mainland Chinese authority the identity information of all crew members on routes arriving at or flying over mainland China. Beijing would not accept the flight unless approval was given to the crew members.

At the same time, hundreds of Hong Kong citizens have been participating in anti-extradition law rallies at the arrival area of the Hong Kong International Airport. Most people wear black clothes and some wear masks. They have been explaining to travelers what has happened in the past two months in Hong Kong. They have used posters, pictures, songs, slogans, and printed materials. Some people expressed the belief that the event at the airport can help attract international attention.

The BBC reported that, in a statement on Monday afternoon, Hong Kong’s Airport Authority said it was cancelling all flights that were not yet checked in. “More than 160 flights scheduled to leave after 18:00 local time (10:00 GMT) will now not depart.”

1. Radio Free Asia , August 9, 2019.
2. BBC, August 112, 2019