Korean Air has received some bad publicity in the past couple of days (read my take here) after it was reported that the daughter of the Korean Air CEO had the plane return to the gate in New York after flight attendant had served nuts in a bag instead of on a plate.
Now, the nut lady has resigned from her position as the head of in-flight services, but still stays on board as the vice president.
There is a very good article about this on the New York Times (access here).
Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times:
By Tuesday, with many South Koreans calling for a boycott of Korean Air, which they nicknamed “Air Nuts,” the airline announced that Ms. Cho had resigned as the head of in-flight services, though not as a vice president. “I am sorry for causing trouble to the passengers and the people,” Ms. Cho said in a statement on Tuesday. “I seek forgiveness from those who were hurt by what I did.”
The episode cannot be explained “except by the fact that Vice President Cho Hyun-ah was a member of the chairman’s family,” said the civic group People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy. It said the case exemplified how the personal wishes of a member of the family that owns a leading South Korean conglomerate often override official regulations and common sense.
“No pilot is going to oppose an order from the daughter of the company owner,” said Lee Gae-ho, a lawmaker affiliated with the New Politics Alliance for Democracy, the main opposition party.
This New York Times piece is a good read and not only discusses this incident, but the power of these conglomerates in South Korea that control many unrelated business there.
Although the “controlling” families may own relatively low percentage of the shares, they continue to treat these business as if they would be family owned and run.