Chinese aviation regulators on Friday demanded Cathay Pacific Airways to suspend its employees in protest in Hong Kong and prohibit them from entering the airspace starting from August 10.
Hong Kong has been involved in violent anti-government protests over the past two months, which Chinese officials said this week has been the biggest crisis since the region was returned to Beijing in 1997.
Last week, a 40 years old Cathay pilot was accused of rioting for allegedly participating in a violent clash with police near China’s main representative office.
Last night, the China Civil Aviation Administration said crew of Cathay Pacific Airways involved in the protest posed a threat to aviation security in mainland China, according to a statement on its website.
The aviation authority has ordered Cathay to provide identification information for company’s crew on a flight to the mainland.
Cathay Pacific crew members who do not have the approval of the authority will not be allowed to enter the airspace, including on flights to other destinations.
The airline was also asked to submit a proposal to strengthen the security, the statement said.
In response, a spokesperson for Cathay Pacific Airways said: “We take the instructions and look into the guidelines carefully. We take it seriously and follow up.
“Passenger safety has always been a priority for Cathay Pacific. There is zero tolerance for any improper and unprofessional conduct that may affect flight safety. We take this incident very seriously.
The escalation of violence has prompted some countries, including the United States and Australia, to issue travel warnings.
Demonstrators plan to pour into the airport on Friday afternoon and organize more protests over the weekend.