It's a standard greeting that's been used airlines across the world for decades, but Air Canada crew will part with tradition by no longer using "ladies and gentlemen" when greeting passengers on the aircraft.

In a major change to the airline's on-board protocol, passengers will no longer be referred to as "ladies and gentlemen" or the French "mesdames et messieurs".

Instead, crew will use gender-neutral greetings such as "good morning everybody" in a bid to be more conscious of gender-fluid passengers.

Air Canada passengers will no longer be called 'ladies and gentlemen' when they board their plane. Photo / Getty Images
Air Canada passengers will no longer be called 'ladies and gentlemen' when they board their plane. Photo / Getty Images

"We will be amending our on-board announcements to modernise them and remove specific references to gender," an airline spokesperson said, according to CTV News Montreal.

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"We work hard to make sure all employees feel like valued members of the Air Canada family while ensuring our customers are comfortable and respected when they choose to travel with us."

The change in language will be adopted by gate agents, flight attendants and pilots.

Many have praised the airline's decision as a big win for diversity and inclusion, but online most of the responses have been negative.

In June this year, airlines in the United States began offering passengers additional options besides "male" and "female" when they bought tickets.

The shift followed a handful of US states allowing citizens to identify by non-binary genders and as some countries in the European Union let citizens self-identify by their gender preference.

From June 1, members of Airlines for America, a trade group that represents most leading US carriers, allowed consumers to pick "unspecified" and "undisclosed" in addition to the traditional two options.

"US airlines value a culture of diversity and inclusion, both in the workplace and for our passengers, and we work hard each day to accommodate the needs of all travellers while delivering a safe, secure and enjoyable flight experience," the group said.