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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