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Funeral for late Korean Air chief held in Seoul

All Headlines 10:22 April 16, 2019

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- The funeral for Korean Air Lines Co.'s late Chairman Cho Yang-ho was held in Seoul Tuesday as his family and associates commemorated his legacy and accomplishments as chief of South Korea's No. 1 flag carrier.

Cho, 70, who had served as the airline's CEO since 1999, died in the United States on April 7, where he had been receiving medical treatment for a chronic lung disease since December.

The solemn ceremony started with eulogies by Hanjin KAL Corp. CEO Suk Tae-soo and others, and later featured a video of Cho's decades-long commitment to the company and the efforts he made to make South Korea a leading player in the global airline industry.

"Chairman Cho led the company through many challenges and firmly plotted new courses that were never thought of by others," Suk said.

Korean Air President Cho Won-tae (C) leads the funeral procession for his father and late Korean Air chairman Cho Yang-ho in Seoul on April 16, 2019. (Yonhap)

After the memorial service, the body, accompanied by the late businessman's only son and Korean Air President Cho Won-tae and other members of his immediate family, moved to the airline's main office in downtown Seoul and its headquarters in the western part of the capital city, where he received a send off from employees before being moved to the family burial plot in Yongin, just south of Seoul.

He is to be buried near his father and Korean Air founder Cho Choong-hoon who passed away in 2002, according to Korean Air Lines.

The late chairman leaves behind Hanjin Group, the South Korea's 14th-biggest conglomerate by assets and Korean Air as well as budget carrier Jin Air Co., Hanjin KAL and several other logistics companies.

Besides his commitment in the business sector, Cho also served as chairman of the 2018 Winter Olympics bidding committee for PyeongChang, and chairman of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics Organizing Committee.

Cho's death followed his ouster from Korean Air's board at a shareholder meeting on March 27 amid a string of probes into him and his family members for using their superior positions to mistreat subordinates and growing calls to change the group's leadership.

The removal was the first time a founding family member of any South Korean conglomerate was forced out of a key post through a vote by shareholders.

Cho has been on trial after he was indicted last year on multiple charges that include embezzlement and tax evasion.

In addition to his own problems, Cho's wife and two daughters are under intense public criticism for their alleged misbehavior in the past that has tarnished the image of the airline and Hanjin.

Meanwhile, his death is expected to speed up the ownership structure of Hanjin Group as a whole, with his son likely to take over the reins of the group's management.

Korean Air pilots salute the hearse carrying late Korean Air Chairman Cho Yang-ho in front of the company's headquarters in western Seoul on April 16, 2019. (Yonhap)

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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