Seoul, Feb 12:
A former vice president of South Korean flagship carrier Korean Air was Thursday sentenced to one year in jail for violating the aviation safety law in a “nut rage” incident.
Cho Hyun-ah, 41, Dec 5, 2014, ordered a senior crew member to return to the gate after serving her macadamia nuts in an unopened bag instead of on a plate, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The Seoul-bound flight from New York had already been taxiing when she had it return to the gate.
She faced five counts of charges: changing the air route of a flight, violence leading to obstruction of aviation safety, intimidation, obstruction of business and obstruction of justice through deception.
The first, changing the air route, carries the heaviest penalty of up to nine years in prison with no option of suspension.
Cho was convicted of the charge despite her wish to receive a suspended jail term. Prior to the ruling, she had submitted six letters of apology to the judges to avoid imprisonment.
The Seoul Western District Court ruled that she violated the aviation safety law, which stipulates that it is the captain who may decide on whether to return to gate for safety reasons or in emergency situations.
The plane moved 17 metres to enable the cabin crew chief de-plane, resulting in departure being delayed for 24 minutes. IANS