Airline To Remove “Z” From Its Airplanes In Japan

( Amid customer concerns, the Japanese airline, Zipair, is removing and redesigning its “Z” logo painted on its tail fins. Customers are allegedly concerned that the letter signifies the company’s support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to a spokesperson.

“We can confirm that we have received a number of customer comments regarding their feelings toward the design of the current livery,” the spokesperson told CNN, adding that although customers are aware the logo was created four years prior to the invasion, in 2018, they shared their “concerns as a way to show support for the airline.”

“I think some people might feel that way when they see it without any explanation,” Zipair president, Shingo Nishida, said at a press conference, regarding customers’ reaction to the letter.

As a result, the airline is speedily designing a new logo. Until all of the company’s fleets can be repainted, a design of stripes will cover up the logo. The company acknowledged that in order to stay relevant in a competitive industry, they must adapt to changes, which is why they are redesigning their livery.

The Russian “Z” has been seen on Russian military vehicles and has since been a symbol of pro-Russian support in the ongoing war. It is unclear what the letter itself is supposed to mean, although Kamil Galeev, a fellow at the Wilson Center, argues that it can be interpreted as “Za pobedy,” meaning “for victory,” the Washington Examiner reported.

The letter has grown in prominence and controversy as athletes began donning the symbol as well. Russian gymnast Ivan Kuliak wore the “Z” on his chest while standing next to a Ukrainian gold medalist. The gymnast consequently faces disciplinary action.

At the start of the war, Russian citizens took to the streets to protest, however, they were met with state resistance as thousands were reportedly arrested. Private companies and governments around the world have taken measures sanctioning the Russian government and oligarchs within the country.

As the war rages on, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has secured tens of billions of American taxpayer dollars. He was recently photographed with Ben Stiller, who visited the president to show solidarity.