A Korean Air jet carrying 218 passengers and 12 crew members was evacuated on Friday morning after two live bullets were found before takeoff at Incheon International Airport in South Korea.
This is not the first time that Korean Air has faced such a situation. In 2018, the airline’s vice president, Cho Hyun-ah, was sentenced to prison for one year for ordering a plane to return to the gate after she was dissatisfied with the way she was served macadamia nuts in first class. The incident, dubbed the “nut rage” scandal, drew widespread condemnation and raised questions about the culture at the airline.
In 2014, another Korean Air executive, Cho Hyun-ah’s sister, Cho Hyun-min, was accused of throwing a tantrum in a business meeting and throwing a cup of water at an advertising executive. She later apologized and was allowed to keep her job.
No Terror Threat on Korean Air Jet
Returning to the recent Korean Air Jet Evacuation incident, the Manila-bound plane, which was originally scheduled to take off at 7:45 a.m. (2245 GMT on Thursday), departed Incheon at around 11 a.m. (0200 GMT) after security checks identified no immediate terror risk. The 9-millimeter bullets were found by a passenger shortly before the jet was to take off, leading to the plane returning to the terminal.
“We are looking into how the bullets got into the plane,” a police officer said. South Korea has strict gun laws with illegal possession of a firearm subject to a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of up to 100 million won ($75,300).
A Korean Air official said the airline was monitoring the results of the police investigation. The Korean Air Jet incident underscores the need for greater security measures in the aviation industry, particularly in light of previous incidents involving Korean Air. The airline has faced criticism for its handling of these incidents, and many have called for greater accountability and transparency from the airline industry as a whole.