[THE INVESTOR] The Seoul government on June 29 said it will delay its decision on the fate of Jin Air over its illegal appointment of Cho Hyun-min to its board of directors.
“Opinions are sharply divided among our legal advisers, so we need more time,” the Land Ministry said in a statement.
Under local laws, only Koreans can be registered as a director of an airline. But Jin Air had named Cho -- one of Korean Air Chairman Cho Yang-ho’s daughters and legally an American citizen -- as a board director between 2010 and 2016. Jin Air is the budget affiliate of Korean Air.
The government will listen to more opinions from officials, experts and relevant parties before reaching a final decision. Such procedures usually take a couple of months, it said.
“Up to 1,900 people work for Jin Air, making it difficult for the government to reach a quick decision when law firms say there is a chance that it could lose if Korean Air sues,” said one industry watcher.
Regardless of the outcome, the government vowed to strengthen its oversight on airlines to ensure that no similar case occurs in the future.
The Cho family has been under intense public fire over a series of allegations of physical and verbal violence, as well as smuggling and tax evasion.
On June 28, Chairman Cho was questioned by prosecutors on tax evasion, breach of trust and embezzlement allegations. He is suspected of having evaded inheritance taxes on overseas assets from his late father and founder of the Hanjin Group, which includes Korean Air.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)