Original Work by Artists with Intellectual Disabilities to be Featured on New JAL A350-1000 International Flights
(IN SHORT) Japan Airlines (JAL) has joined forces with Heralbony to address societal issues related to biases against individuals with disabilities by incorporating remarkable art into the travel experience. This partnership aligns with JAL’s ESG strategy to promote diversity and inclusivity, with the goal of fostering a society that respects diverse cultures, values, and behaviors. The collaboration has already seen the introduction of artwork on international economy class meal sleeves and will expand to include artwork on inflight amenities for First Class and Business Class passengers, original art coffee cups in JAL First Class Lounge, and a new Heralbony store at JAL Mall. This initiative aims to transform perceptions of disabilities and promote a society that values diversity.
(PRESS RELEASE) Tokyo, Japan, 2023-Nov-3 — /Travel PR News/ — Japan Airlines (JAL) has entered into a business partnership with Heralbony Co., Ltd. (Headquartered in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture; hereinafter referred to as “Heralbony”) with the aim of addressing social issues arising from biased perceptions toward individuals with disabilities by creating new ways to experience diverse perspectives through the exposure to remarkable art while traveling with JAL.
Background leading to the business partnership
The “JAL Group Medium-Term Management Plan Rolling Plan 2023 for Fiscal Years 2021-2025” positions ESG strategy as the topmost strategy in its management, aiming to create sustainable flow of people, sales and distribution channels, and to solve social issues by generating “Movement and Connections.” As part of this strategy, JAL identifies “resilience through diversity” as one of its eight material issues, and aims to build a society where diverse individuals, cultures, values, and behavior are respected and new values are created. Heralbony, as a welfare experimental company with a mission to “Unleash Your Exceptionality,” aims to change the perception of disabilities and realize a society where eight billion diverse individuals can live true to themselves through various businesses, such as licensing based on more than 2,000 art data created by artists mainly with intellectual disabilities and support for DEI promotion in companies. The partnership between JAL and Heralbony has been formed based on the alignment of their shared values and goals.
Since December 2021, JAL and Heralbony have been collaborating on various initiatives. They held the “Upcycled Art Exhibition” at Haneda Airport, and organized an art wrapping event at Misawa Airport in Aomori Prefecture in January 2022. Furthermore, since August 2023, 12 different art pieces by various artists have been featured on the sleeves of international economy class meals, under the theme of “Inflight meals for the future”, known as “RED à table”. By providing platforms for artists to showcase their talents in various locations, both domestically and internationally, the two companies have created numerous co-creation initiatives while creating opportunities to “connect” with new perspectives and values during travels.
Moving forward, the partnership between JAL and Heralbony will expand beyond products and locations. This expansion will commence with the introduction of the new international aircraft, the Airbus A350-1000, where they will develop and offer new international products and services. Additionally, products will be sold at JAL Mall, aiming to create various connections domestically and internationally, leading to a transformation in the perception of disabilities and the realization of a society where diverse values are respected.
1. Provision of sleeves with artwork for international economy class meals *Introduced since August
Starting from August 2023, sleeves for international economy class meals have been provided with artwork designed by Heralbony’s contracted artists. The design varies for each menu, and a total of 12 different artworks will be introduced over a period of approximately one year.
Period: August 2023 – August 2024
Available routes: From Japan to Europe, the United States, Hawaii, Australia, and Southeast Asia. Artists featured: Fumi Takada / Kaoru Iga / Eri Nitta / Madoka Nishimura / Hiroo Suzuki / Shigetaka Wada / Taisuke Kinugasa / Sumie Akiyama / Hiroshi Ichikawa / Takeo Hamanosono
2. Provision of inflight amenities with artwork for international First Class and Business Class
Starting from December 2023, passengers in international First Class and Business Class will receive original pouches featuring artwork by Heralbony’s contracted artists as inflight amenities. A total of 10 different pouch designs will be available (4 for First Class and 6 for Business Class).
Period: From the introduction of the Airbus A350-1000 (within this year)
Available routes: From Japan to Europe, the United States, and Australia
Artists featured: Koichi Tsuchiya / Atsuhito Fujiki / Tomohiro Watanabe / Keisuke Mori / Sanae Sasaki / Marina / GAMON
3. Use of original art coffee cups for hand-drip coffee service in JAL First Class Lounge
In the newly introduced hand-drip coffee service at JAL’s SALON within the JAL First Class Lounge, customers will be served the finest cup of coffee using collaboration cups featuring artwork by Heralbony’s contracted artists. During the elegant moments before departure, embrace the chance to engage with art in a truly unique way and delight in the opportunity to experience fresh perspectives through art. The art coffee cups will be available for purchase at JAL Shopping’s JAL Mall store (*In Japanese only) in the future.
Period: From the introduction of the Airbus A350-1000 (within this year)
Location: Haneda Airport Terminal 3, JAL First Class Lounge, JAL’s SALON
Featured artist: Masaki Watanabe
4. Heralbony’s new store opening at JAL Mall
With the shared desire to create opportunities for encounters with diverse perspectives and connections not only during travels but also in daily life, Heralbony plans to open a new store at JAL Mall.
Opening period: In 2023
Planned products for sale: Short zip wallets, pouches, stoles, relaxation & recovery wear, etc.
The JAL Group is committed to collaborating with Heralbony in various fields to create a society where everyone can experience a more fulfilling life through travel. Together, we strive towards the realization of this vision, working towards innovative initiatives and opportunities for all.
Inspired by their older brother Shota, who has autism, Heralbony was founded by the Matsuda twins, Takaya and Fumito, in 2018. The company, headquartered in their hometown of Morioka in northern Japan, has grown to approximately 45 employees with funding from VC and CVC firms as of 2023. They’ve established a sustainable business model through a licensing business that focuses on copyright management, allocating a portion of the revenue as artist royalties, enabling popular artists to earn annual incomes of several million yen. Recently, they have expanded both domestically and internationally. Heralbony is recognized as a leading impact startup in Japan and has been selected for the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry’s J-Startup and J-Startup Impact programs.
Source: Japan Airlines