Korean Air chief Cho Yang-ho has compounded his family’s PR troubles by sneering at a pilot on Facebook and sparking a standoff with the carrier’s labor union.
Cho was responding to a lament on Facebook by Korean Air co-pilot Kim Seung-kyu, who elaborated on the complexities of a captain’s job.
“They say that pilots with a nine-figure salary shouldn’t complain because they work barely 100 hours a month,” Kim wrote, “so let me show you what we have to prepare for each flight.”
Under company rules pilots are supposed to report for work an hour and 45 minutes before a flight, but in fact they have to make preparations at home or in their hotel several hours before flights and turn up two-and-a-half hours before take-off, he said.
Korean Air’s union is in wage negotiations with the company and wants a whopping 37 percent wage hike, or about W50 million on average (US$1=W1,189).
Cho then lashed out, reinforcing his family’s reputation for high-handed behavior that landed his daughter in jail last year.
“Your posting is full of professional jargon, but 99 percent of your work isn’t new,” Cho wrote. “Aircraft are flying on autopilot, which is easier than driving a car. Pilots are useful only in emergencies. You’re just exaggerating. A dog would laugh.”
Cho’s daughter was sentenced to time served on appeal last year after she slapped a flight attendant in late 2014 and forced a plane to return to the gate because she had been served a bag of nuts incorrectly.
The pilots union is considering suing Cho senior for defamation.