Swire comes out strongly in support of Lam and police

Top News | Stella Wong, Sophie Hui and Cissy So 14 Aug 2019

Cathay Pacific's parent company said it "resolutely" supports the efforts of the Hong Kong's government and police to restore law and order after protests turned violent and hurt the airline's business.

The political unrest undermines the fundamental principle of one country, two systems enshrined in Hong Kong's Basic Law, Swire Pacific Ltd, which controls Cathay with a 45 percent stake, said in a statement yesterday.

"Cathay Pacific is deeply concerned by the ongoing violence and disruption impacting Hong Kong. We resolutely support the Hong Kong SAR Government, the chief executive and the police in the efforts to restore law and order.

"We condemn all illegal activities and violent behavior, which seriously undermine the fundamental principle of one country, two systems as enshrined in the Basic Law.

"All that is special about Hong Kong - its flourishing economy and the safe home it provides for our people and families - rests on a strong and respected rule of law.

"We must act now to stop the violence and preserve the stability."

CAAC said on Monday that the deputy director, Cui Xiaofeng, met with Swire Group chief executive Merlin Swire in Beijing at the request of Swire.

The Swire statement came days after Cathay drew China's wrath over some of the flag carrier's workers joining the anti-Beijing demonstrations.

Cathay said yesterday that a second officer was interdicted due to improper use of company information and violation of internal regulations after he took a photo of a cockpit display on a Cathay Pacific flight back to Hong Kong on Monday.

It was seen as a call to protesters to gather again at the airport.

The airline previously suspended two pilots and separately fired two ground staffers for misuse of company information.

The chaos at Hong Kong International Airport pushed up the stock prices of Shenzhen and Guangzhou airports, as mainland analysts say Shenzhen airport could raise its regional importance.

Shenzhen Airport Company Limited jumped 10 percent to 10.43 yuan, while Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport Company rose 4.48 percent to 19.11 yuan yesterday. This comes as Air China announced an increase in its capacity for flights operating between Beijing and Shenzhen yesterday.

Citic Securities Company said the HKIA chaos will result in loss of tourists in the short term. Shenzhen airport could take one-third of tourists, analysts for Citic said.

Commentary: Lie low and grow, stand up and be shot

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