Sister of Korean Air 'nut rage' heiress apologises for own tantrum

SEOUL - A daughter of the chairman of Korean Air Lines apologised on Thursday (April 12) for her "foolish behaviour", following media reports that she threw a water bottle at the face of a manager at the airline's advertising agency.

It is the latest controversy to engulf the chairman's family after the so-called "nut rage" incident, when his elder daughter Heather Cho flew into a rage on an aircraft over the manner in which she was served nuts in first class.

That episode unleashed scorn and outrage in a country whose economy is dominated by family-run conglomerates known as chaebol, and where many are fed up with the rich and powerful escaping punishment for bad behaviour.

In the latest incident, angered by the manager's inability to answer a question, Cho Hyun Min, a senior vice-president of Korean Air, threw a bottle at a wall, followed by another at the individual's face, the Kookmin Ilbo newspaper and other media said, quoting a posting on anonymous mobile application Blind.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm the details of the incident.

In a posting on Facebook, Cho Hyun Min, who is also executive vice-president at budget affiliate Jin Air, said her behaviour was unacceptable, calling her action "foolish and careless", but gave no details.

"Although I have great love towards the advertisements, it is more important to have respect and appreciation for other people," she added.

"So it is my big fault that I was not able to manage my feelings." She had apologised to officials at the meeting, she said.

South Korea's Korean Air planes at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, South Korea.

A spokesman for Korean Airlines said a water bottle was thrown on the floor, and not at a manager's face.

"During the meeting, she thought the manager's answer was not sufficient, so she threw a water bottle on the floor, not at the manager's face," the spokesman told Reuters.

Officials of the advertising agency were not immediately available for comment.

Shares of Korean Air ended down 6.55 per cent and Jin Air went down 3.99 per cent.

In 2014, Cho's elder sister had demanded the removal of a flight attendant from a plane before take-off, as she was displeased that he served her macadamia nuts in a bag, rather than in a dish.

She was charged with violation of aviation law, among other offences, in 2015, and South Korea's Supreme Court last year upheld her 10-month suspended sentence.