A flight attendant employed by Hawaiian Airlines has died of the novel coronavirus, the carrier has confirmed.
Jeff Kurtzman, a senior flight attendant based in Los Angeles, passed away on Tuesday night, KHON 2 reports.
The late steward joined the airline in 1986.
Osaka Kansai, Japan – May 24, 2014: A Hawaiian Airlines Airbus A330-200 with the registration N380HA approaching Osaka Kansai Airport (KIX) in Japan. Hawaiian Airlines is a US airline based in Honolulu, Hawaii.
HAWAII DELAYS REOPENING TOURISM UNTIL SEPT. 1
Hawaiian Airlines CEO Peter Ingram shared the news with employees on Wednesday, disclosing that Kurtzman tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this month.
A spokesperson for the carrier told the outlet that Kurtzman had attended a recent training session at the airline’s Honolulu headquarters in late June, an event which has been linked to a cluster of coronavirus cases. The airline has since canceled the flight attendant training programming.
In Ingram’s email to staff, the executive reportedly said that Kurtzman “had become well known to his in-flight colleagues for his passion for discovering new places, people and cultures; his terrific sense of humor and knack for easy conversation; and his caring heart” over the past three decades.
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“He embodied the values of aloha and malama that we hold dear.”
“Jeff Kurtzman is the kind of guy you would want as your best friend. He would take the shirt off his back for you,” Connie Florez, a friend of the late steward, told KHON2 of his passing. “Hawaii has lost a beautiful man.”
A spokesperson for Hawaiian Airlines was not immediately available to offer further comment.
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