SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The chairman of Korean Air Lines Co. apologized Friday for the behavior of his adult daughter who delayed a flight in an incident now dubbed “nut rage.”
Cho Yang-ho made a deep bow before journalists in response to simmering public anger over his daughter’s over-mighty attitude and the airline’s handling of it.
Cho Hyun-ah, who was head of cabin service at Korean Air, was angered when a flight attendant in first class offered her macadamia nuts in a bag, not on a plate. She ordered a senior crew member off the plane, forcing it to return to the gate at John F. Kennedy airport in New York City.
Cho Yang-ho called his daughter’s behavior foolish and says he regrets he didn’t raise her better.
“It’s my fault,” he said. “As chairman and father, I ask for the public’s generous forgiveness.”
Shortly after her father’s apology, Cho Hyun-ah also made a deep bow in her first public appearance since the Dec. 5 incident. She was meeting with transport ministry officials who are investigating whether she violated aviation safety law.
Clad in a long black coat, she lowered her head as she made brief comments before droves of journalists without making eye contact. Her trembling voice was inaudible on a live television broadcast.
Her actions caused uproar in South Korea and abroad. South Korean media called the 40-year-old a princess and some Koreans said she was an international embarrassment to her country.
In a separate probe, prosecutors searched the headquarters of Korean Air Lines on Thursday after a civil society group laid a complaint about Cho’s behavior on the plane.
Korean Air Lines had earlier excused her behavior even as it apologized for inconveniencing passengers.
Earlier this week, Cho resigned as Korean Air’s head of cabin service but retained other executive roles at the airline and its affiliated companies. Her father said Friday she is resigning from executive roles at all affiliates of Hanjin, the group that controls Korean Air.