Singapore’s low-cost airline Scoot yesterday joined Singapore Airlines in temporarily sidelining select Hong Kong trips, canceling two flights scheduled to leave the city yesterday amid multi-day protests at Hong Kong International Airport.
Flight TR974 was scheduled to depart Changi Airport for Hong Kong at 4:55pm, while flight TR975 was supposed to leave Hong Kong for Singapore at 9:50pm.
The flights were canceled due to “airport restrictions arising from protests,” the airline said on its website, adding that those scheduled for travel today are “currently operating.”
Hong Kong’s airport resumed operations today after protesters clashed with police at the airport yesterday. It also obtained an interim injunction allowing it to restrain those who “unlawfully and willfully” obstruct the airport’s operations.
On Monday, the Hong Kong airport authority temporarily canceled all flights in and out of the territory after thousands of people filled the airport to protest against police violence.
The ongoing protests in Hong Kong began in March, when thousands took to the street to protest against a since-suspended extradition bill. The campaign has since expanded to include calls for broader democratic reforms.
Scoot flight TR980 was among those affected Monday. According to The Straits Times, the aircraft was forced to return back to Singapore when it was already 30 minutes away from the Hong Kong airport.
Singapore Airlines passengers have also been affected over the past couple of days. On Monday, two flights were canceled and one rescheduled, the airline said on its website.
The canceled flights were SQ2, which was scheduled to leave Singapore at 6:20pm for Hong Kong, and SQ871, which was supposed to leave Hong Kong for Singapore at 7:55pm.
Flight SQ868 from Singapore to Hong Kong was rescheduled from 7:55pm to 4am the next morning.
Travelers took to Twitter yesterday to complain to Singapore Airlines and Scoot, respectively ,about their flight woes.
Rebecca Atkinson said yesterday she was not given a warning from Scoot when her flight on Monday was canceled.
“Now I can’t claim my travel insurance as I have no document to show the flight was canceled,” she said.
@flyscoot hey you cancelled my
flight from Hong Kong to Singapore yesterday without so much as a warning email or text. Now I can’t claim my travel insurance as I have no document to show the flight was cancelled. Guess you can’t be bothered to do the minimum.
— Rebecca Atkinson (@atkinson_r) August 13, 2019
Scoot later responded to her, asking if she could send them her booking reference number via direct message so they could find out more about her flight.
Pierson Tan complained yesterday about Singapore Airlines not canceling flights out of Hong Kong when the departure halls were “completely blocked.” In fact, the decision to not cancel all outbound flights created a number of disquieting scuffles between desperate passengers and protesters who were physically blocking their paths.
Scuffles between impatient passengers and #AntiELAB protesters like this have happened a few times along the cart chain outside the north departure gate. Frustration is driving up tensions, and protesters' loud chanting of "sorry" isn't really accepted. pic.twitter.com/ujvgazk6y6
— Xinqi Su (@XinqiSu) August 13, 2019
Twitter user Dewi Tobing had replied to Tan’s tweet, saying that her friend was also stuck at the airport even though the Singapore Airlines flight was almost ready for boarding.
@SingaporeAir Singapore Airlines isn’t cancelling our flight out of Hong Kong International Airport! Departure Halls are completely blocked!!! Absolutely ridiculous
— Pierson Tan (@PiersonTan) August 13, 2019