(CNN) — German airline group Lufthansa will greet fliers using gender-neutral language from now on.
Lufthansa Group’s airlines — which include Lufthansa, Eurowings and Brussels Airlines — have historically welcomed travelers on board by referring to them as “ladies and gentlemen.”
In a statement, the airline said that on future flights travelers will be referred to as “guests,” or simply greeted with a cheerful: “Good morning here on board.”
“Diversity and equality are core values for our company and our corporate culture. From now on, we want to express this attitude in our language as well — and show that diversity is not just a phrase, but a lived reality,” reads the Lufthansa statement.
Lufthansa said gender-neutral language has been used in company internal communication since the beginning of June 2021, and that Lufthansa is also making linguistic changes to contracts and documents going forward.
“We have not banned addressing our guests as ‘Dear Sir or Madam’ — our aim is to welcome everyone on board on an equal basis,” said Lufthansa, who added that cabin crew can choose the exact wording “depending on the context and situation.”
Gender neutral language
When asked whether this change will be adopted across languages and regions, a Lufthansa spokesperson said that “the issue of gender-neutral language varies from country to country.”
In English, nouns are largely gender-neutral. In German (and other languages, such as French, Spanish and Italian) each noun has a grammatical gender.
A move towards gender-neutral language is a positive step for the historically male-dominated aviation industry — although many would say there’s a long way to go, what with a glaring imbalance in the gender statistics of pilots and airline cabin crew’s often gender-specific uniforms.
Top photo copyright Lufthansa