HKG begins recovery of full flight operations

Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) today began the rescheduling and recovery of its flight operations, as protesters released a statement apologizing for the disruption that they had caused over the last two days.

Late last night, the airport authority obtained an injunction against the unlawful and willful obstruction of or interference with the proper use of the airport, as well as against any demonstrations or protests not held within a designated area in the passenger terminal.

While freighter flights were mostly unaffected on Monday and Tuesday by the protesters’ occupation of the terminal building, there were a few more cancellations today as the airport and airlines dealt with the passenger backlog and aircraft were reshuffled. A total of ten cargo arrivals and nine cargo departures appeared to have been cancelled today, although not all can be conclusively linked to the previous disruptions.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics (HAFFA) told Air Cargo World that some forwarders had been shipping their cargo through Shenzhen (SZX), Macau (MFM) and Guangzhou (CAN), but that was mainly due to cost and service considerations rather than any permanent decision to avoid HKG. Echoing a comment yesterday by the Hong Kong Shippers’ Council, Brian Wu, chairman of HAFFA, said that HKG still has a competitive edge in aspects such as efficiency and flexibility.

However, Wu also told Air Cargo World that HAFFA and its members were still concerned about the long-term supply chain stability of Hong Kong. “We look at the latest development and communicate closely with Airport Authority Hong Kong every day,” he said. “We hope this difficult situation can be relieved as soon as possible.”

According to a statement released today by HAFFA, the association “strongly opposes” any “violent disruption” to HKG’s normal operations. “If such disruption continues, it will undermine Hong Kong’s reputation as an international transportation hub and the world’s busiest cargo airport,” the statement said. “It will have a far-reaching impact on Hong Kong and have a serious, adverse effect on the economy as a whole.”

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