A former senior Korean Air executive has been jailed for a year after losing her temper at a flight attendant who served her nuts on a plate.

Heather Cho, 40, who was senior vice-president at the airline, was given a one-year jail sentence for her behaviour, dubbed 'nut rage', at a South Korean court.

Cho became infuriated at an unnamed chief flight attendant when he served her macadamia nuts on a plate, instead of bringing them in a bag - which is apparently normal protocol in first class, where she was seated.

She then demanded the worker be removed from the the Incheon-bound flight on 5 December last year, after he failed to find the company's in-flight service manual stipulating the proper nut-handling guidelines.

The flight's captain gave in to her demands and agreed to taxi back the plane to JFK airport to drop the crew member off.

Cho was found guilty of forcing a flight to change its route, obstructing the flight's captain in the performance of his duties and forcing a crew member off a plane.

According to AP, prosecutors had called for three years in prison.

The case caused huge interest in South Korea where the economy is dominated by powerful, family office-run conglomerates known as "chaebol", whose members are known for acting above the law.