South African Airways Cancels Flights to Protest-Hit Hong Kong and South African Expat Prays

Large-scale protest action in Hong Kong has led South African Airways to cancel its flights between Johannesburg and the Chinese city, where the growing pro-democracy mass action has shut down the main airport, one of the busiest in the world.

A young girl faces down police in Hong Kong in a picture from The New York Times. Photo: Twitter/lamyikfei.

There were two SAA flights, one in either direction, scheduled for today.

In a notification on its website, Hong Kong International Airport said operations at the airport have “been seriously disrupted, all flights have been cancelled.” There was no indication when flights would resume.

Protests began in June. First, they were about a bill, later withdrawn, that would have made it possible for suspected criminals to be sent to China, but have since become more about democracy.

A South African expat caught up in the protests has made worldwide news with her tearful comments that it’s “unacceptable” and that she “would rather go back to South Africa” if the protests are going to continue.

After kneeling in prayer in front of the riot police, the woman told reporters: “I came from South Africa to move away from this.” She said the police and protestors should be working together. Watch below.