Hawaiian Airlines attendant who died during flight ID’d as longtime employee

Hawaiian Airlines identified the attendant who died of heart attack during a flight Thursday as a longtime employee.

Emile Griffith, who worked for Hawaiian Airlines for more than 31 years, died on the flight, the company said in a statement.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Emile Griffith, a member of our flight attendant ‘ohana for over 31 years who passed away while working on our flight between Honolulu and New York last night,” the airlines said in a statement. “We are forever grateful for Emile’s colleagues and good Samaritans on board who stayed by his side and provided extensive medical help.”

Hawaiian Airlines Flight 50 was traveling from Honolulu to New York City when it was diverted to San Francisco Thursday night after a flight crew member suffered “a suspected heart attack,” Doug Yakel, a San Francisco airport spokesman, said.

Medical personnel attempted CPR during the flight but suspended these efforts prior to landing, Yakel said. Sources told Hawaii News Now that crew members performed CPR for hours. Yakel said the passengers were put on other flights. The flight was carrying 253 passengers and 12 crewmembers.

“Emile both loved and treasured his job at Hawaiian and always shared that with our guests. Our hearts are with Emile’s family, friends and those fortunate to have known him,” the statement concluded.

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