Departing flights from Hong Kong International airport have been cancelled for the rest of Tuesday, and the busy hub has implemented “flight rescheduling” for Wednesday (14 August) as protesters returned to its main terminal for a fifth consecutive day.

According to reports, thousands of people have joined the demonstration at the airport, which is one of the busiest in the world. In response, officials have suspended all departing flights and have advised passengers to leave the terminals as soon as possible.

A statement on the Cathay Pacific website said: “There is potential for further flight disruptions at short notice. Customers are therefore encouraged to postpone non-essential travel from Hong Kong on Tuesday, 13 August and Wednesday, 14 August and should not proceed to the airport unless they have a confirmed booking.”

Officials cancelled all departing flights on Wednesday, saying protesters were causing ‘serious disruption’. It had implemented flight rescheduling earlier today, but the airport now says protests have forced further cancellations.

The rallies are part of widespread unrest that began with anger over a proposed extradition bill that would see suspected criminals able to be extradited to mainland China for trial.

The protests forced Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam to suspend the bill, but demonstrators are now calling for her to completely scrap it and resign, as well as for an inquiry into alleged police brutality during rallies.

Protesters are afraid of a perceived intrusion by China on the former British colony’s free press and judicial independence.

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