Aug 12, 2019

Cathay Pacific threatens to fire staff who support Hong Kong protests

Photo: Getty Images

Hong Kong's flagship airline Cathay Pacific threatened to fire staff members who participate in "illegal" demonstrations in the city, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The move seems designed to placate Beijing, which has required that any employees involved in the protests be removed from flights to the Chinese mainland. A fifth of the airline's flights are routed through China, meaning that a government crackdown could significantly hamper its operations.

  • The announcement comes on the same day that protestors occupied Hong Kong's airport — one of the busiest in the world — and caused it to cancel all of its flights on Monday evening. That marked the biggest disruption to the city's economy since pro-democracy protests began 11 weeks ago.
  • Cathay Pacific's shares plunged almost 5% on the news of its announcement.

Go deeper: Hong Kong cancels Monday flights after protestors stormed terminal

Go deeper

Cathay Pacific shares take a direct hit from Hong Kong protests

Data: FactSet; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The unrest in Hong Kong hit the market hard Tuesday as the Hang Seng Index fell 2.1%. The territory's flagship airline Cathay Pacific saw shares tumble 2.55%, after a 4.9% slide on Monday that pushed the stock to its lowest price in a decade.

The backdrop: Hong Kong International Airport once again stopped all flights after protesters occupied the building for a fourth straight day as part of escalating citywide protests against a law that would allow China to extradite and try citizens from Hong Kong in the mainland.

Go deeperArrowAug 13, 2019

The strongmen vs. the streets

A protester is arrested on Saturday in Moscow. Photo: Anadolu Agency via Getty

The world’s two most powerful authoritarian states have been unable to quell pro-democracy demonstrations that have now spanned several weeks and drawn global attention.

The latest: Flights out of Hong Kong were canceled today after protesters flooded into the airport, while Moscow witnessed its largest protests in seven years over the weekend. Video of police battering demonstrators has emerged from both cities. Broader crackdowns now seem likely, particularly in Hong Kong.

Go deeperArrowAug 12, 2019

Hong Kong airport protests: What you need to know

Travelers look at posters placed by Hong Kong protesters at the airport on Wednesday. Photo: Vincent Thian/AP

While President Donald Trump suggested a meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jingping over the Hong Kong crisis, China called the protests "close to terrorism" as normal operations began to resume at the international airport, the BBC reports.

What's new: The Airport Authority said late Wednesday that any application to protest in the terminal must be made in advance with a "Letter of No Objection" to be obtained from police, as security was heightened in the area, per Reuters. CNN notes that nearly 1,000 flights were canceled this week over the massive protests at the airport, which saw riot police clash with activists. More protests are planned for Friday, Reuters notes.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 15, 2019