SEOUL, Mar. 30 (Korea Bizwire) — The infamous airline executive behind the ‘nut rage’ incident will take on a new role as the president of a hotel affiliate owned by the Hanjin Group, which operates Korean Air.
Cho Hyun-ah, the former vice president of Korean Air and the daughter of the chairman of the airline, has returned to work after three years and four months of hiatus since the ‘nut rage’ scandal that propelled her to shameful international recognition.
Though Cho previously served as the CEO of the KAL Hotel Network between 2011 and 2014, she will be working under the title of president this time, after being elected to the post at the company’s annual shareholders meeting held early Thursday, the KAL Hotel Network said.
“Former vice-president Cho will oversee hotel management based on her extensive experience both at home and abroad,” a Korean Air official said.
Sources close to the industry argue Cho hasn’t returned to her original position as president due to her widely negative public image.
Cho faced international condemnation for ordering a plane to return to the gate at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport after a row with a flight attendant over nuts served in their original packaging, instead of on a plate, delaying the flight for nearly 20 minutes.
Speculation of Cho’s return began growing last December after the Supreme Court confirmed a sentence of 10 months in jail and two years of probation on charges of business obstruction.
KAL Hotel Network operates a total of four hotels in South Korea – three hotels on Jeju Island and the Grand Hyatt Incheon near Incheon International Airport.
Cho made her first high-profile public appearance earlier this year after the scandal, running alongside her father at the torch relay for the PyeongChang Olympics, representing Korean Air which was an official partner of this year’s Winter Games.
Sporting an official gray PyeongChang tracksuit, Cho was seen flashing a smile behind her father who was a torchbearer.
The nut rage scandal had a significant impact on both South Korean society and the economy, with share prices of Korean Air tanking by nearly 5 percent around the ‘nut rage’ incident.
Flight Attendant Victim Left with a Benign Tumor ‘Due to Stress’
Park Chang Jin, the flight attendant at the center of the controversial incident said on Wednesday on his private Instagram account that he will undergo surgery to remove a benign tumor after suffering from a stress overload for years.
In a post alongside a picture of a lump at the back of his head, he said three years of stress like a ‘nuclear bomb’ had caused a benign tumor in his brain, and it had become too big to postpone surgery any further this year.
The post has been liked more than 3,000 times.
Park returned to his post as a senior flight attendant in April 2016 after spending over a year treating posttraumatic stress disorder and panic disorder.
He claims he has faced accusations of faking illness and abusing junior staff from fellow colleagues, and called the tumor a sign of the tough times.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)