Tokyo, JAPAN (January 19, 2024) – For the first time, a woman will hold the top position at Japan Airlines as the airline announced on Wednesday that Mitsuko Tottori, a former cabin attendant, will be promoted to president on April 1.

In addition to becoming the first president with prior experience as a cabin attendant, Tottori is currently a senior managing executive officer and representative director.

Current President Yuji Akasaka will take on the role of chairman with representative authority, succeeding the retiring Yoshiharu Ueki. In 2010, Japan Airlines filed for bankruptcy and Ueki oversaw the company’s reconstruction under the direction of the late Kyocera founder and chairman, emeritus Kazuo Inamori.

During the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, when the airline sector was facing challenging business conditions, Tottori, in her capacity as senior vice president for cabin attendants, assisted with the company’s cabin attendants’ secondment to municipalities and other businesses. The purpose of the measure was to keep workers motivated and help them avoid losing their employment.

Tottori has been in charge of customer experience since April 2023 and has been enhancing Japan Airlines’ reputation. She became the second woman to hold that position when she was appointed as the company’s representative director in June of that year.

“There are female employees out there who are struggling with their career steps or going through big life events,” Tottori told a news conference. “I hope my appointment as a president can encourage them, or give them the courage to take the next step.”

Starting in 2020, Tottori’s work with corporate safety and security and her employment as a cabin attendant have given her a great deal of observation and practical expertise in safe flight operations and service since she joined the company. In the difficult management environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic, she has shown exceptional leadership as senior vice president, cabin attendants division. She has made a substantial contribution to preserving safe operations by striking a balance between employee motivation and human resource development.

As senior vice president, customer experience division, she began to help maintain and enhance the calibre of services we offer to our clients in 2023, greatly contributing to their satisfaction.

In a statement, the JAL Group said that it would strive in unity to ensure the highest level of safety in all flight operations, continue to improve the quality of the products and services, raise its corporate value, and contribute to the growth and development of society.