The ‘Nut Rage’ Incident Is a Public Relations Nightmare for Korean Air
kpride, Jan. 19, 2015, 10:25 a.m.
Korea Air saw an on-year decline of more than six percent of passengers in December last year, probably caused by bad publicity over the "nut rage" incident. According to the Korea Airports Corporation on Sunday, 1.95 million passengers flew on domestic carriers last month, up 11.5 percent from the same period of 2013. But the number of Korean Air passengers dropped from 516,000 to 482,000 over the same period.
Bad news for Korean Air meant good news for Asiana Airlines, where passenger numbers rose around 13 percent from 358,000 in December 2013 to 406,000 last month, while low-cost carriers' business also increased. One airline industry insider said, "As Korean Air's image deteriorated, a considerable number of passengers appear to have used other carriers."
The airline became an international laughing stock late last year when the chairman’s daughter threw a tantrum over being served a bag of nuts incorrectly, and compounded the damage by trying to cover up the incident. She is now in jail awaiting trial for violating aviation safety regulations and putting passengers at risk. But Korean Air is not expected to see a marked drop on international flights since it operates the most routes and many passengers are likely to be kept loyal by their air miles.