Korean Air CEO apologises for daughter's 'foolish act'


Korean Air CEO, Cho Yang-Ho

Korean Air CEO, Cho Yang-Ho
Korean Air CEO, Cho Yang-Ho

Korean Air CEO Cho Yang-Ho publicly apologised Friday after his daughter triggered public anger and ridicule by kicking the head of cabin crew off a flight because of the way she had been served some nuts.

Addressing a televised press conference, Cho apologised for his daughter Cho Hyun-Ah’s “foolish act” and suggested he should share some of the blame for not bringing her up correctly.

“I am making this apology as a father and as the head of Korean Air,” Cho said.

As well as being the boss’s daughter, Cho Hyun-Ah was a vice president of the family-run airline, but her father confirmed that she was being relieved of all her official posts.

Cho Hyun-Ah has been front-page fodder in the South Korean media since forcing a New York-Seoul Korean Air flight to return to its gate last Friday to remove the chief purser, the most senior member of the crew.

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Cho, sitting in first class, took exception to the arrival of some macadamia nuts she had not asked for, and to the fact that they were served in a packet rather than a bowl.

She summoned the chief purser who, according to an earlier Korean Air statement, replied with “lies and excuses” when challenged over his crew’s knowledge of in-flight service procedures.

Cho then decided the chief purser was “incapable” and the plane returned to the gate where he disembarked, causing an 11-minute delay in arrival.

Her behaviour attracted heavy criticism in South Korea, where she was accused of being petty and arrogant, and prompted a state probe over a possible breach of aviation safety laws.

Cho was scheduled to be questioned later Friday by Transport Ministry officials.

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