The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) announced Nov. 13 that the annual assembly of presidents—scheduled for Nov. 21-22 in Hong Kong—will be canceled. 

In a joint statement, AAPA director general Andrew Herdman and host Cathay Pacific Airways’ new CEO Augustus Tang said the decision to cancel the event was because of the unpredictability of the situation in Hong Kong, as well as the “paramount importance” of the well-being of delegates and guests. They said it was a “difficult decision” to cancel the event.

Ever since the start of the mass protests in June, the fate of the assembly has been questioned, with a number of airline leaders pulling out of the event.   

The anti-government protests in Hong Kong escalated the week of Nov. 11, especially after the death of a student protester and a case of a policeman shooting a demonstrator, critically injuring him. While most demonstrations are held on weekends, there has been upsurge in violence since then. Intense demonstrations in the city center and universities forced the government to shut schools Nov. 14 because of “transportation and safety reasons.”

The next AAPA assembly in 2020 will be in Japan, hosted by Japan Airlines.

Chen Chuanren,