American Airlines has dedicated one of its B777-200 aircraft to a staff member who has completed an incredible 75 years with the carrier.
Azreil “Al” Blackman started working for AA as a 16-year-old apprentice in the Sheet Metal Shop in the 1942, earning a salary of US$0.50 per hour.
At a ceremony at New York’s JFK airport, his achievements were recognised by Guinness World Records, with the title of “Longest career as an airline mechanic”.
AA also surprised Blackman by dedicating a B777 in his honour, with CEO Doug Parker commenting:
“Al has worked on nearly every aircraft American has flown since the flying boats of the 1940s to the Boeing 777s of today. His hard work and dedication to train and mentor others and safely maintain our aircraft has made us a better airline.”
The B777-200 aircraft features Blackman’s signature on the exterior, as well as a design painted in his honour in the interior.
“I’m just honoured to be here, I’m proud to be a mechanic,” said Blackman at the ceremony. I’m proud to be part of the American Airlines team.”
“When you like what you do, it’s not work,” he added.