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Korean Air Lines Chairman Cho Won-tae is fighting for his company's and his own future. (Source photo by Reuters)
Business Spotlight

Korean Air's family feud opens door to activist challenge

Coronavirus pushes debt-strapped airline to brink as 'nut rage' sister eyes comeback

KIM JAEWON, Nikkei staff writer | South Korea

SEOUL -- Like the heads of many airlines, Korean Air Lines Chairman Cho Won-tae is fighting to keep his company afloat as the coronavirus and travel restrictions batter the aviation industry. Unlike most of his peers, Cho is doing this while trying to fend off a coup by his own sister.

The family feud is expected to come to a head at the general shareholder meeting of Hanjin-KAL, the airline's holding company, on March 27. The two siblings and their respective allies have roughly equal stakes, and are continuing to try to strengthen their positions, even as the outlook for airlines around the world continues to darken.

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