Mode Aviation
Reference No. AR201300038
Date reported 10 May 2013
Concern title Cabin crew speaking Japanese in the galley
Concern summary

The concern related to inter cabin crew communication in a language other than English which meant that all cabin crew could not understand what was occurring.

Industry / Operation affected Aviation: Air transport
Concern subject type Aviation: Cabin safety

Reporter's concern

The reporter expressed a safety concern regarding Japanese speaking cabin crew communicating in Japanese both in the galley and on the interphone throughout the flight. This creates a problem for non-Japanese speaking cabin crew who have difficulty understanding the nature of the communication. The reporter clarified that the concern relates to communication between cabin crew and not between cabin crew and passengers.

Operator's response (Operator 1)

The Airline's Cabin Crew are required to use English for all operational communication, and are assessed during our recruitment process to ensure they meet our high standards. Many of our crew are able to speak other languages in addition to English, and may use their skills to communicate with our customers in a more familiar language. This enhances not only the customer service our team members provide, but also allows them to manage emergency situations, such as medical emergencies involving customers, in a more timely and comforting manner.

It is understood that in this instance the reporter has referenced that crew are speaking in Japanese in the galley and on the interphone, not just to passengers. These occurrences would need to be reported via the Airline's reporting system (confidential if the reporter deems appropriate) so the Airline (Customer Service base management) has an opportunity to investigate and resolve these occurrences.

A number of reports have been received, all without specific details (i.e. staff names or flight details). A response to this effect has been provided directing the reporter to raise their concerns directly with their base managers, of which none have heard further.

Safety reports submitted that reference a particular flight/duty (i.e. where individuals can be identified) are forwarded onto base management for review. On close out of these reports the base manager would generally advise that the report has been reviewed and managed as required. No additionally feedback need be relayed to the reporter, as an individual's performance management being discussed with anyone further would not follow the 'just culture' policy and procedures of the airline.

In this instance, the reporter is advised to provide more specific detail in future reports to the company for adequate management.

Regulator's response (Regulator 1)

CASA remains of the view that safety reports are the authorised means of reporting safety concerns to the company's safety management system and agree with the company's view that the reporter should provide more specific detail in future reports to allow adequate management of the concerns.

Last update 18 March 2016