South Korean prosecutors have applied for an arrest warrant for a Korean Air heiress, who delayed a flight with a tantrum over snacks that caused a national uproar.

The prosecutors' office said on Wednesday that 40-year-old Cho Hyun-Ah faced charges including violation of the aviation safety law, coercion and interference in the execution of duty.

Cho is accused of forcing a senior flight attendant off a December 5 New York-Seoul flight and of compelling the taxiing plane to return to the gate so he could disembark. 

She took exception to being served macadamia nuts she had not asked for.

A court will hold a hearing early next week to review the warrant application.

Cho, daughter to Korean Air (KAL) boss Cho Yang-Ho, has publicly apologised and resigned from all her posts in the organisation.

Prosecutors are also investigating whether KAL officials coerced cabin crew to give false testimony to government inspectors to protect Cho.

Source: Agencies