American Airlines Flight Attendant Dies of COVID-19

An American Airlines flight attendant died on Monday after contracting the CCP virus, the company said in a statement.

“Earlier this week, we lost a respected, longtime member of the American Airlines family who tested positive for COVID-19. Paul Frishkorn joined us as a flight attendant in 1997 and was based in Philadelphia,” the American Airlines spokesperson said on an In Memoriam post on the company’s website.

Frishkorn had underlying health issues that may have made him vulnerable to the CCP virus, which causes the disease COVID-19, American Airlines told USA Today. NTD refers to the novel coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan last year, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.

Frishkorn was from Philadelphia and had worked with American Airlines for 23 years. He was also union representative for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA.) He is the first American Airlines employee to die of the disease, according to the airline.

American airlines check in
Travelers wearing face masks line up to check-in for an American Airlines flight to Los Angeles at Beijing Capital International Airport in Beijing, China, on Jan. 30, 2020. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP Photo)

“Our industry, our airline and all of us have been affected by COVID-19 in different ways. But until now, we hadn’t lost one of our own. This loss hits home in a very different, personal way from the headlines,” the company said.

“When this hits one of your own, it sheds a whole new light on the coronavirus,” said Lori Bassani, president of the union, in a statement, according to USA Today. “This does spread more fear among our ranks. This is a killer virus, unlike any we have experienced.”

“Our hearts go out to Paul’s loved ones, many of whom work for American. We are working directly with them to ensure they are cared for during this extraordinarily difficult time,” the airline said. “He will be missed by the customers he cared for and everyone at American who worked with him.”

American announced it will ramp up safety measures between March 27 through April 3 aimed at minimizing contact between crew and passengers, including limiting food and beverage options and restricting meal service to flights longer than 4.5 hours.