FOUR years ago, Cho Hyun-ah, an executive at Korean Air made headlines around the world when she threw a fit because she was served macadamia nuts in their packaging rather than on a serving dish in first class on the airline. She reportedly insulted the cabin crew, threw documents at them, and forced them to kneel and beg forgiveness. At the time, she was a company vice president, and she made the plane return to its gate in order to remove the offending flight attendant. After spending several months in prison for breaking aviation-safety laws, Cho Hyun-Ah was able to return to her father’s conglomerate, this time managing hotels rather than Korean Air. But a new scandal may have finally accomplished what “nut rage” could not.

This month, police opened an investigation into Hyun-ah’s younger sister, Hyun-min, a marketing executive at Korean Air. It was alleged that she had thrown water at an advertising executive’s face during a business meeting. She apologised for her behaviour and claimed that she had thrown water on the floor, not in the other executive’s face. Cho Yang-ho, their father and chair of Korean Air, apologised on April 22nd for the behaviour of two of his daughters and announced that they would leave their management positions at the company.

In the end, Mr Cho may have had little choice but to remove his daughters from the company. Investigators raided the family’s homes and offices this month. And the company has grown so unpopular that some Koreans have called on their country’s government to stop the airline from using “Korean” in its name. “As chairman of Korean Air, as well as a father, I feel terrible about the immature actions of my daughters,” Mr Cho said in a statement. “Everything is my fault and my wrongdoing. I apologise to the people.”

The row comes at a bad time for Mr Cho’s family conglomerate, the Hainjin Group, which is recovering from several years of bad news. Korean Air had made several years of losses before and after the first “nut rage” incident. In 2016 the group’s container line, Hainjin Shipping, declared bankruptcy. The next year Korean Air managed to stablise its finances by issuing a rights issue worth $390m and by returning to the black. “Water rage” could set the company’s recovery back. But with the competitive threat from state-subsidised Chinese airlines and low-cost carriers from elsewhere in Asia rising every month, the two incidents could turn out to be the least of its big problems ahead.