Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (Ana) have introduced new accessibility guidelines for passengers requesting special assistance at the airport and during their flight.

Launched under the direct supervision of The Nippon Care-Fit Education Institute, the new measures are aimed at ensuring the safety of all passengers and airline employees when travelling by air amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

It is also focused on strengthening the airlines’ ability to offer timely information for travellers with visual and/or hearing impairment and enhancing the communication measures for them.

While masks are essential for protecting one’s health, the carriers will provide visual aids at the airport to overcome the difficulties that masks create for the hearing impaired, the airlines said in a joint statement.

The new guidelines are said to be based on the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Guidance on Accessible Air Travel in Response to Covid-19 and Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s (MLIT) updated measures in relation to the current travelling environment.

Based on the guidelines laid out by the MLIT, JAL and ANA will cater to the requirements of the travellers while strengthening their efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.

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This includes efforts to provide hygienic environments for passengers at airports, lounges, and inside aircraft, as well as the introduction of necessary measures to prevent infections and offering updated information on infection prevention measures to customers.

Last year, Japan Airlines partnered with Japan Airport Terminal (JAT) to test WHILL’s self-navigating electric wheelchairs at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport.

The autonomous wheelchairs were intended to allow passengers with reduced mobility to navigate the airport without any external assistance.