Troubled ‘Halal’ airline Rayani Air banned from flying after six months of service

The ‘Halal’ airline had its flying license revoked following a safety audit. Pic: AP

MALAYSIA’S first and only Islamic-compliant airline was banned from flying after Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) revoked the airline’s licence following a safety inspection.

After a “thorough deliberation”, the DCA issued a statement yesterday to revoke the carrier’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC) after only six months of service.

Prior to the ban, the airline had been suspended on the grounds of breaching safety regulations, faulty service, unpaid salaries, and failure to comply to DCA warnings.

The DCA launched an inquiry into the airline in April following a string of complaints from passengers and last-minute cancelations. On top of that, pilots working for the airline went on strike to protest unpaid wages.

Disgruntled Rayani Air passengers have taken to social media to express their frustrations over poor management of refunds following the ban.

According to Free Malaysia Today, passenger Hafiefz Izzuddin commented on a press statement on the airline’s Facebook page: “Dear Rayani Air, most of us have tried calling (the airline) and many of us failed to get through. How transparent are you in refunding our money?”

User Radziah Taris also commented, “How about my money? Over 30 days already, can’t get through by phone.”

Following the revoking of its licence, Rayani Air will appeal to the DCA for a “second chance” to revive the airline through a new investor.

Owner Ravi Alagendrran said in a statement: “The revocations came at the peak of our negotiations with investors for the acquisition of equity in Rayani Air.”

He added that the “qualified and strong management team” of its new investors would revive and manage the airline “much better than us”.