The chief executive of Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways has said there will be “disciplinary consequences” for employees involved in “illegal protests”.
The airline joins a number of businesses that have appeased and apologised to China in recent days over political tensions.
Rupert Hogg’s comments came just hours before the Hong Kong airport announced it was shutting down after thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators occupied the main terminal.
With the exception of flights departing Hong Kong that have already completed the check-in process, as well as inbound flights that are already heading to Hong Kong, all other flights have been cancelled for the rest of today.
— Cathay Pacific (@cathaypacific) August 12, 2019
The airline’s shares slumped at market open.
Mr Hogg warned in an internal memo to employees that the company has a “zero tolerance approach to illegal activities”, referring apparently to protests unapproved by the police force.
Companies from luxury fashion brands to bubble tea shops have been under pressure to distance themselves from protesters and declare their support for the ruling Communist Party’s position on Hong Kong.