T'way Air undermined by sexual harassment case.
T'way Air, the country's third largest low-cost carrier (LCC), is embroiled in a controversy as it imposed a light punishment on a pilot who allegedly harassed a female first officer.
This is expected to deal a blow to its corporate image as one of the top three LCCs.
The pilot in command allegedly caressed his first officer's thigh and touched her breast during a flight last September.
The captain also made improper comments, harassing the first officer by pointing at her breasts.
The captain has only a few years left until his retirement.
The female officer immediately reported the case to the company when she returned to Seoul.
However, the airline only made the captain apologize and cut his wages for three months.
Some observers said T'way Air did not take sufficient action to protect the female officer and was reluctant to resolve the problem.
"Other senior captains at the company complained about the first officer, saying she was being too sensitive. The company too was reluctant to resolve the issue and played a part in making the case a bigger problem," an anonymous informant said.
The airline, however, said it took immediate action after the officer filed a report.
The company said it listened to both sides and tried to protect the woman by allocating her different flights.
"It is not true that we tried to wrap up the case quickly," a T'way Air official said.
The female officer resigned and sued the male captain.
Meanwhile, T'way Air recently rose to become the No. 3 LCC by sales.
The airline was established in 2010.
Jeju Air ranks at the top followed by Jin Air in second.
T'way Air launched new international routes from Daegu, and now operates the most flights from the city.
It is currently preparing to go public, becoming the third airline to get listed on the Korea Exchange.