For more than half a century, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. has been Hong Kong’s gateway to the world, its mix of British heritage and Asian high-altitude luxury bridging the city’s colonial past with its Chinese location. But it’s that unique cultural blend that has ensnared the carrier in an increasingly out-of-control political uprising sweeping through the streets.

After months of anti-Beijing demonstrations in the city, Cathay is emerging as the corporate fall guy as it struggles to navigate a path between the demands of the mainland and employees sympathetic to the uprising. Since last Friday, the carrier’s been rebuked by China’s regulator, boycotted by state-owned companies and excoriated by the nation’s biggest bank. Its stock also hit a 10-year low.

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