Cabin attendants serve aboard a Japan Airlines Co. Airbus A350 jetliner from Tokyo's Haneda airport to Fukuoka Airport in southwestern Japan on Sept. 30, 2019. (Kyodo)

TOKYO - Japan Airlines Co. on Thursday stopped referring to passengers as "ladies and gentlemen" in their English flight announcements, opting instead to use gender-neutral terms to be more inclusive.

The airline now greets travelers as "all passengers" and "everyone" during flights and at airports to include sexual minorities, following similar examples by subway operators in Europe and the United States, the company said.

"We have used phrases that refer to genders unconsciously. We would like to create an environment that allows us to serve all people," a JAL official said.

On Thursday morning at Tokyo's Haneda airport, JAL staff made a boarding announcement for a flight to Helsinki without referring to passengers as ladies and gentlemen.

A ground staff member of Japan Airlines Co. gives an announcement in English at a boarding gate at Tokyo's Haneda airport on Oct. 1, 2020. (Kyodo)

According to the carrier, there will be no change in the Japanese announcements since they have not included phrases specific to gender.

Cabin attendants make the English announcements during international flights and domestic flights with foreign passengers on board.

"The changes are in fit with the times. I hope to see a similar movement made in other industries," said Renge Jibu, a journalist who has been reporting about gender issues.

The JAL group, which declared in 2014 its commitment to diversity, aims to provide its employees with a positive working environment, regardless of, among other things, gender and sexual orientation.

Last year, Air Canada and EasyJet, a low-cost carrier in Europe, also said they would drop the "ladies and gentlemen" announcements, according to reports.

File photo taken in May 2012 shows a Boeing 787 jetliner operated by Japan Airlines Co. (Kyodo)