Just like everything else this year, the aviation industry has been witnessing some changes, too. While you may be accustomed to being greeted in a certain way in domestic and international flights, a Japanese airline has been thinking outside the box, to make greetings more gender-neutral and, therefore, inclusive.
According to CNN, Japan Airlines (JAL) will be dropping the “ladies and gentlemen” from its announcements, and will instead favour more inclusive greetings like “attention all passengers” and “welcome, everyone” on all its flights and airports, October 1 onward. “We have been promoting diversity in the community since 2014, and this is one of our actions taken to treat everyone [equally] regardless of gender,” Yutaro Iwasaki, publicist for JAL, told the outlet.
According to The Independent, while the expressions used by the airline are already gender-neutral in Japanese, this mandate will apply to the announcements that are made in other languages as well. With this, JAL becomes the first Japanese carrier to adopt this inclusive approach to welcome people who are flying with it.
But, this is not the first time that inclusivity in airlines has been a talking point. As per the CNN report, the Tokyo-based airline had, before this, moved for gender parity in March 2020, when it had announced that it would give its female flight attendants the option to wear trousers instead of skirts, just so they can feel more comfortable while on board.
Additionally, Australian airlines Qantas was among the first to have launched the “Spirit of Inclusion” initiative in March 2018, reports The Independent.
It included ‘WordsAtWork materials’ on the company’s intranet that suggested that its employees refrain from using gender-specific words like ‘honey’, ‘love’ and ‘guys’. The terms ‘partner’, ‘spouse’ and ‘parents’ were preferred to ‘husband and wife’ and ‘mum and dad’.
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