It appears as though the Korean Air “nut rage” scandal now runs in the family after a Dec. 17 text message written by Cho Hyun-min, sister of former Korean Air executive Cho Hyun-ah, swearing “revenge” on the behalf of her sister was made public this week. Cho Hyun-ah, you'll recall, forced a Korean Air flight back to the gates as it was preparing to depart from New York on Dec. 5 because her macadamia nuts were served to her in a bag rather than on a plate -- an investigation into that matter was underway at the time the text was sent.
Cho Hyun-min, 31, is the youngest daughter of the family, and she had apparently promised her older sister involved in the “nut rage” scandal that she would “take revenge no matter what” via a text message, according to Korean press Yonhap News Agency. A local prosecutor released the text to local press Wednesday that Cho Hyun-min, who also goes by Emily, had sent to her older sister two weeks ago -- just after her sister was relieved of her duties at Korean Air.
Cho Hyun-min apologized on her Twitter account hours after the text message was reported on local news: "I am very sorry beyond words for the content of that text message, which was reported in the newspapers.... I'd rather not make any excuses. My immature behavior is to blame." It was not clear who was the target of Cho’s "revenge."
Korean press had also previously reported that the youngest Cho had sent an email on Dec. 17 to about 50 staff members in the airline’s marketing division in an attempt to diffuse the blame for the scandal. In the email, Cho wrote that the scandal is "not the result of one person" but "mistakes committed by all employees," according to local press Chosunilbo.
"The 'nut rage' incident and how Korean Air has been handling the situation have come to show the real faces of these 'chaebols,'" said an industry official to Yonhap, talking about conglomerates run like family dynasties, known as 'chaebols' in the country.
Cho Hyun-min became a vice president of marketing at Korean Air at the age of 23, according to her LinkedIn page, and is now in charge of marketing at the conglomerate’s budget carrier Jin Air. Eldest daughter Cho Hyun-ah, 40, was arrested on Wednesday, along with another executive suspected of trying to cover up the incident.