Air Malta Drops Binary Gendered Greetings for All Passengers
Air Malta is rolling out a new policy to accommodate passengers of any gender
Air Malta is rolling out a new policy to accommodate passengers of any gender. With the implementation of this new policy, Air Malta will stop using gendered greetings for all employees. This change was met with both praise and criticism. Some critics say it’s unnecessary, while others believe it will make travel better for everyone. As of now, the use of binary greetings has been halted by Air Malta. The European Union has also considered taking similar measures to protect transgender people in the workplace. Malta is one of three countries where same-sex marriage is legal, but the island
Air Malta Drops Gendered Greetings
Air Malta has been providing gender-neutral treatment to customers for many years. The carrier started with using male, female, or neutral gendered greetings, depending on the nationality of the traveler. With the implementation of this policy, Air Malta will stop using gendered greetings for all employees. In a statement to the BBC, Air Malta is quoted as saying “we were consulted by the authorities and we deemed that there was no need to continue with our gendered salutation. The Air Malta name is used for both genders.” Malta is one of three countries in Europe where same-sex marriage is legal. The Malta Civil Rights Association is leading the campaign to change the nation’s gender-specific ban.
Why Malta's decision is important
According to the EU report, 'Transgender Care and Support in Malta', there are just over 120,000 transgender people in Europe. This is small compared to the rest of the world where there are estimated to be over 1.5 million transgender people. With the amount of transgender people, it’s easy to see how their rights are ignored. Many in the LGBT community can relate to the feeling of discrimination. With this new policy by Air Malta, it’s hoped that LGBT people will feel a sense of safety and comfort when traveling with the national carrier. Air Malta’s gender neutral policy Starting March 16, 2017, Air Malta employees can no longer use gendered greetings when greeting customers. The service and appearance committee at Air Malta approved of this change on March 7, 2017.
The European Union's actions on transgender rights
The EU Directive was developed to protect members of the LGBT community in the workplace. It addresses discrimination, harassment and abuse in the workplace based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The directive is not legally binding, however. However, it does influence business leaders across Europe. If there is a transphobic incident, businesses and employees are expected to act according to the directive. This directive had one positive impact in Malta. Business leaders are expected to acknowledge and support transgender people. If employers fail to do this, then legal action is possible and even probable. It’s important to note, however, that the directive does not cover every aspect of a person’s life.
Under Maltese law, gender is determined by a person’s birth certificate.