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Korean Air says chairman Cho Yang-ho dies at 70

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Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho has died, the South Korean airline said on Monday, less than three weeks after investors voted to remove him from the board in a landmark victory for shareholder activism.

[SEOUL] Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho has died, the South Korean airline said on Monday, less than three weeks after investors voted to remove him from the board in a landmark victory for shareholder activism.

Mr Cho, 70, passed away in the United States early on Monday from a chronic ailment, the company said in a statement. A company official said Mr Cho had a lung condition.

Korean Air has been plagued in recent years by a series of scandals involving its founding family members, culminating in the indictment of Mr Cho last year on charges of embezzlement and breach of trust. Mr Cho denied the charges against him.

The troubles began after Mr Cho's eldest daughter, Heather Cho, made headlines in 2014 when she lost her temper over the way she was served nuts in first class and ordered the Korean Air plane to return to its gate at a New York airport.

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The "nut rage" incident severely tarnished the carrier's image and generated derisive international headlines for months.

After Mr Cho's death was publicly announced, shares in Korean Air rose 3 per cent as of 0017 GMT, versus the wider market's 0.3 per cent gain. 

REUTERS