Japan’s flagship air carrier – Japan Airlines – is to stop using the traditional form of address to passengers used for decades on millions of flights around the world of ‘ladies and gentlemen’, and will, from next month move over to using gender-neutral greetings according to reports from Japan.
The move will apply both on-board aircraft and also in passenger address announcements made in airport terminals prior to flights, and after landing it is understood.
The move was announced by the company on Monday in the Japanese capital Tokyo.
From October 1st, according to a spokesperson for Japan Airlines, JAL “will abolish expressions that based on (two types of) sex and use gender-friendly expression” such as “good morning” and “good evening”.
The change in policy will apply across the various languages JAL and its staff use in its announcements at airports and on flights across the world – the airline currently services 39 international airports on five continents, excluding codeshare routes, in addition to over 50 domestic airports throughout the archipelago.
In response, one report has rival Japanese airline All Nippon Airways (ANA) telling the media the company will “study the issue based on comments from our customers.”
JAL has this year been hit by a huge drop in business as have all airlines on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic, although its stock prices were already suffering prior to the March collapse in air travel around the world.
Monday’s close of business on the Japanese Nikkei saw JAL stock close at1,992 yen, down from a high in the year to date of 3,468 yen in early January.