Workers look on at a check-in booth at Hong Kong's international airport following a protest against police brutality and a controversial extradition bill, on August 12 2019. Picture: AFP/PHILIP FONG.
Workers look on at a check-in booth at Hong Kong's international airport following a protest against police brutality and a controversial extradition bill, on August 12 2019. Picture: AFP/PHILIP FONG.

All SAA flights between Johannesburg and Hong Kong were grounded on Monday as a result of protests at Hong Kong International Airport.

“The authorities in Hong Kong have suspended air operations to and from the airport‚” SAA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said.

“Assistance will be provided to all ticketed customers holding an SAA ticket via any SAA call centre‚ city travel office or your own travel agent‚” he said.

Authorities in Hong Kong are blaming thousands of demonstrators for the disruption. The protests began 10 weeks ago over a bill allowing extradition of suspects to China and other grievances.

Tlali said SAA would be in be liaising constantly with the authorities in Hong Kong to receive updates and to know when operations could resume.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused by this operational disruption and encourage all customers to visit our website for flight updates or flight cancellations.”

Hong Kong correspondent for AFP‚ Elaine Yu‚ tweeted images of a tearful woman kneeling in front of riot police during the protests. “I came from SA to move away from this. I don’t want this‚” she said.