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Korean Air May Faces Fines Over 'Nut Rage' Incident

At a news conference, Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho apologizes for his adult daughter’s behavior, Dec. 12, 2014.

Korean Air faces possible fines and flight suspensions after an airline executive delayed a flight because she was unhappy with how she was served nuts.

South Korea's Transport Ministry on Tuesday said it is reviewing punitive measures against the airline, Korean Air, which it said violated aviation law.

Ministry director Lee Kwang-hee also said his agency has referred the executive, Heather Cho, to prosecutors over the December 5 incident.

"It has been confirmed that Cho raised her voice and used abusive language as testified by some flight crew members and passengers who were on the second floor of the plane," said Lee.

The ministry said in a statement that Korean Air could face up to a month of flight suspensions and a $2 million fine.

Cho was sitting in first class when she became angry that a flight attendant served her macadamia nuts in a packet rather than on a plate. She then forced the plane back to the gate and expelled the cabin crew chief.

Many South Koreans have expressed outrage at the actions of Cho, who is the daughter of the airline's chairman. Cho has been stripped of all her positions at the airline and last week offered a tearful apology.