Over 500 flights affected as storms swirl near Hong Kong

Dark skies gather over downtown Hong Kong and Victoria Harbour on July 9, 2015, as Typhoon Linfa approaches the island.
Dark skies gather over downtown Hong Kong and Victoria Harbour on July 9, 2015, as Typhoon Linfa approaches the island. PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE - Airlines are rescheduling flights to and from Hong Kong as the financial centre braces itself for strong winds and rain.

The city issued its third-highest storm signal as Severe Tropical Storm Linfa approached on Thursday.

The Hong Kong Airport Authority said more than 500 flights would be affected by the storm, AFP reported.

Two Singapore Airlines (SIA) flights from Singapore to Hong Kong on Thursday evening and one flight from Hong Kong to Singapore on Friday were re-timed due to Typhoon Linfa, an SIA spokesman said .

SQ 002 and SQ 868 from Singapore to Hong Kong will be departing on Friday morning, instead of Thursday evening, while SQ 857 from Hong Kong to Singapore will be delayed about five hours and depart at 2pm on Friday.

Two Scoot flights were delayed by about 14 hours. TZ 220, scheduled for 1.55am on Friday, will be departing Singapore at 4.20pm. TZ 221 will be departing Hong Kong for Singapore at 9.05pm on Friday.

Another storm, Severe Typhoon Chan-hom, was hurtling towards the northern coast of Taiwan on Thursday and was expected to make landfall in eastern China on Saturday, near the coastal cities of Wenzhou and Taizhou.

SIA said no flights have been affected by Chan-hom so far.

Cathay Pacific Airlines said both Typhoons Linfa and Chan-Hom are affecting flight operations into and out of Hong Kong.

It listed 33 cancelled flights on Thursday (July 9) and Friday (July 10) on its website. Another seven flights were delayed.

The cancelled flights on Thursday were between Hong Kong and Taiwanese cities Taipei and Kaohsiung, Chinese capital Beijing, Philippines capital Manila and Jeju Island in South Korea.

Other flights on Friday between Hong Kong and Chinese cities Shanghai and Hangzhou, Japan's Osaka, and Indonesian resort island Bali were also cancelled.

Linfa made landfall on Thursday on the east coast of Guangdong in south China, and was set to hit Hong Kong overnight.

In Hong Kong, authorities have closed off a popular seaside promenade overlooking the city's famous Victoria Harbour.