Aviation Business

Cho Yang-ho, chairman and CEO of Korean Air, dies at 70

A statement from the airline reveals that Cho passed away in Los Angeles on 8 April


On 8 April 2019, Korean Air announced in an official statement that Cho Yang-ho, chairman and CEO of Korean Air had passed away at the age of 70. Cho’s passing came less than two weeks after shareholde­rs voted to remove him from the board following a series of family scandals.

At the time of his passing, Cho was scheduled to go on trial in South Korea for multiple charges, which includes tax evasion and embezzleme­nt. With his death, the court is expected to dismiss his criminal case.

Credited as the driving force behind Korean Air’s catapult onto the global stage, Cho took over as chairman and CEO of the airline from his father back in 1999. A year later, Cho went on to become the founder of the SkyTeam airline alliance.

Despite his success in transformi­ng Korean Air into a world-renowned carrier, Cho’s career is marred by a series of family scandals that includes the now infamous “nut rage” incident.

Back in 2014, Cho Hyun-ah, the eldest daughter of Cho Yang-ho, assaulted two Korean Air flight attendants for serving her nuts in a bag instead of a bowl. When the incident became public, Cho Hyunah resigned as vice-president of Korean Air and was later found guilty in a South Korean court for obstructin­g aviation safety. She was given a 10 months prison sentence but only spent a total of five months in jail.

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