American Airlines plane named after employee with 75 years of service

Azreil "Al" Blackman, 91, name will be on a Boeing 777

DALLAS – A 91-year-old American Airlines employee with 75 years of service was honored by the company, his name now emblazoned on the side of a plane.

Azreil “Al” Blackman, who has been with the company since the World War II era, now has his years of service and his signature featured on a Boeing 777.

The crew chief at New York’s JFK Airport said he was proud to be a mechanic and part of the American Airlines team during a surprise ceremony held for him at a hangar in New York.

“When you like what you do, it’s not work,” Blackman said.

Blackman also received a pin for his 75 years with the company – the first ever minted by the airline, according to a report.

Blackman was 16 years old when he joined American as an apprentice in the sheet metal shop for 50 cents an hour, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

“Al has worked on nearly every aircraft American has flown since the flying boats of the 1940s to the Boeing 777s of today,” said American chief executive Doug Parker said in a statement cited in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram report. “His hard work and dedication to train and mentor others and safely maintain our aircraft has made us a better airline.”

Watch a video below the Fort Worth-based company produced, showing a time-lapse of the plane's naming: 



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