Japanese Airlines (JAL) will be scrapping the commonly used phrase “ladies and gentlemen” onboard their flights in favour for gender-neutral greetings. 

Starting next month, JAL will be opting for greetings such as “attention all passengers” in an effort to be more LGBTQ+ inclusive, according to Mainichi.

JAL will be implementing the new airline greetings on 1 October.

Japanese Airlines spokesman Mark Morimoto commented on the new change, telling Thomson Reuters Foundation: “We aspire to be a company where we can create a positive atmosphere and treat everyone … with respect.”

The Japanese Airline has become one of the few airlines to adopt a more inclusive greeting style. Air Canada and EasyJet switched to gender-neutral greetings last year.

Similar progress has been seen elsewhere in the travel industry. The phrase “ladies and gentlemen” was scrapped by subways in New York and London as it excludes non-binary people.

The announcement of JAL choosing to undertake a gender-neutral approach is one of the county’s first few steps towards inclusivity when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community.

Although same-sex partnerships are illegal in Japan, we have seen some positive change unfolding.

Tokyo will host Japan’s first ever permanent LGBTQ+ information centre. Pride House Tokyo will be dedicated to raising awareness of community issues and will host a range of events and produce content in an effort to support LGBTQ+ rights.

This welcomed effort will bring together 35 NPOs and activists, 14 corporations, and 19 embassies to “secure a place to broadcast information on and by the LGBTQ community”.