Shogakukan Starts Serialization of Manga Featuring ANA’s ‘Ground Handling Girls’

The serialization of the manga ‘Blue Flight: A Story of Ground Handling Girls,’ which is about a female ground handling (ground handling) staff, started in Shogakukan’s monthly girls’ manga magazine ‘Betsucomi’ released on February 13. The series features Kokone, the protagonist working at Haneda Airport, diving into her work and private life alongside her colleagues, sketched by manga artist Nonoko-san, with the cooperation of the ANA Group for the reportage.

Ground handling staff, who support airline operations from the sidelines, including aircraft marshaling and handling of baggage and cargo using special vehicles, have been a less spotlighted profession in the aviation industry where pilots and cabin crew often feature in movies and dramas.

▲’Ground handling girls’ working at Haneda Airport (July 2, 2020)

“When I learned about the job of ground handling, I was surprised that women were also working in it. It’s a physically demanding job. I wanted to convey the efforts of women,” said Maeda Mio, editor-in-chief of Betsucomi. Thanks to the cooperation of the ANA Group, author Nonoko-san and her team have been conducting fieldwork at Haneda Airport since last summer.

According to Aki Okoyamada, president of ANA Airport Services, about 20% of ground handling staff working nationwide are women. “Previously, it was a male-dominated workplace, similar to mechanics and pilots, but recently women’s achievements have become remarkable,” she said.

One of the ‘ground handling girls’ interviewed at Haneda Airport was Nanami Usuha from ANA Airport Services Ramp Service Department. She joined the company in 2017 and is currently in charge of the aircraft side manager duties. The satisfaction of her job comes from sending planes off safely and on time. “I’m happy when I get a wave back while doing the ‘goodbye wave’ to the departing planes,” she said.

She was interested in the aviation industry and admired the job of ground handling staff after learning about it during her industry research. “I didn’t know about the profession until I started job-hunting. I hope this will be an opportunity for more people to learn about the job of ground handling,” she mentioned.

This article was generated using automatic translation by GPT-4 API.
The translation may not be accurate.