The chairman of Korean Air has apologized for an incident in which his daughter, a senior executive at the company until this week, delayed a plane departing from New York over the manner in which macadamia nuts were served to her.
Company chairman Cho Yang-ho bowed deeply before journalists Friday, saying his daughter's behavior was foolish, and expressed regret that he did not bring her up better, according to Fox News.
"It's my fault," he said. "As chairman and father, I ask for the public's generous forgiveness."
Cho's daughter, Heather, caused controversy, after she caused a plane scheduled to depart from New York's John F. Kennedy airport, bound for Incheon, Korea, to return to the terminal, after she took issue with a steward who served her macadamia nuts in a bag, rather than on a plate, which is company policy.
She reportedly ordered the senior steward to be removed from the aircraft after the incident.
Heather Cho, who was senior vice president of the airline with responsibility for in-flight service, resigned earlier this week, according to the BBC. The incident, which has been dubbed "nut rage," prompted an investigation from South Korea's transportation authority as to whether her behavior had contravened the country's aviation safety law.
"Even though she is senior vice president at the company, she was a passenger at that time, so she had to behave and be treated as a passenger," an aviation official told the Korea Times. “She could have taken other measures after coming back to Korea, such as strengthening service training."
Shortly after her father's apology, Cho also made a deep bow, a gesture of apology in some Asian cultures, in her first public appearance since the Dec. 5 incident, according to The Associated Press. The agency reported that she made brief comments to journalists without making eye contact, in a trembling, almost inaudible voice.
The airline had previously apologized to passengers, but also said that it was "natural" for Cho to fault the crew's ignorance of in-flight service procedures, according to AP.