Airline chief's daughter Cho Hyun-Min sent home for 'rage'

Heiress apologises for throwing water at man after sister said sorry for nut rage

On Friday, police launched a preliminary inquiry into Cho Hyun-min, a senior executive at the airline, after local media reported that she yelled and threw water at a manager of an advertising agency during a meeting in Seoul last month.

Police are investigating the incident involving Cho, also known as Emily Cho, the daughter of Korean Air's chairman.

It was also found that previously Cho illegally served as an executive for Korean Air's budget carrier, Jin Air, for six years. Cho, however, denied that she threw water at the employee but admitted to pushing him.

Cho is the younger sister of Heather Cho, who made headlines over a notorious "nut rage" incident in 2014, when she lost her temper over the way she was served nuts in first class and ordered the Korean Air Lines plane she was on to return to its gate at a NY airport.

Cho apologised to the airline's employees in an email on Sunday, saying she was caught up in the passion for her work and had been unable to control her "thoughtless words and deeds, through which I caused injury and disappointment for a lot of people". Cho has not resigned and Korean Air has not fired her.

But her apology has failed to placate many in South Korea, where hugely powerful family-run conglomerates have always been dogged by criticism of their founding families' brash behaviour.


The recording, which Korean Air has not confirmed is authentic, features a furious woman, apparently Cho, verbally abusing an employee. Why must our employees, who have committed no crime, be the subject of criticism?'

The labor unions of Korean Air issued a joint statement Sunday pressuring Cho to resign immediately and make a public apology.

"We should no longer see these unqualified, unethical scions (of the founding families) getting a free ride into the top management", Choo Mi-ae said Monday.

Korean Air suspended Cho from her duties on Monday following a rash of complaints from members of the public and from airline unions.

Throwing water into someone's face can amount to assault in the South where a housewife was fined about $650 in 2015 for hurling water at a real estate broker during a heated argument.

Other reports about the family, already infamous for the 2014 "nut rage" incident, have started to appear online over the weekend.

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