Air New Zealand crew take sign language sky-high for New Zealand Sign Language Week

Air New Zealand is proving New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) can be used anywhere in Aotearoa – even 35,000 feet in the air.

In a world-first to mark the beginning of NZSL Week, which runs from 6-12 May, the airline today operated a flight where cabin crew used NZSL to communicate with customers, including signing the inflight passenger announcements and onboard service offerings.

Customers on NZ421 from Auckland to Wellington were encouraged to give NZSL a go, with illustration cards featuring signs for popular inflight items like “water”, “cookie” and “lolly” placed on seats. The five flight attendants operating the flight all had at least a basic knowledge of NZSL.

The initiative was led by Air New Zealand’s Enable Network, an internal group supporting employees who have a personal disability or care for someone with a disability. Air New Zealand Senior Aircraft Programmes Manager and Enable Network Lead, Ed Collett, said the airline had been working hard to enable more employees to use NZSL.

“We’re thrilled we could support NZSL Week and recognise its importance as […]

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