Malaysia’s first Islamic-compliant airline, Rayani Air, has been barred from flying for breaching regulations.
The Department of Civil Aviation has revoked Rayani Air’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC), or right to fly, bringing an end to the world’s first Shariah compliant airline.
The DCA said the decision came after a full investigation of the administration and a safety audit of the airline’s state of operations. Rayani Air launched last December offering only halal food, no alcohol and crew wearing modest clothing. It has two Boeing 737-400 planes in its fleet, each able to carry about 180 passengers, eight pilots and 50 crew.
The DCA said it found Rayani Air in breach of conditions of its licence and that it lacked the financial and management capacity to operate a commercial airline. It follows a three month suspension after the airline failed to follow flight regulations. A safety audit was later conducted to assess its operations.
Malaysia’s aviation commission said in a statement that the airline “had breached the conditions of its Air Service Licence (ASL) and lacks the financial and management capacity to continue operating as a commercial airline”.
The DCA said it had conducted a “thorough deliberation” on the airline’s response to the safety audit. In the lead up to its suspension, the airline had faced criticism including complaints about cancelled flights as pilots went on strike.
Based on the island of Langkawi, Rayani Air had been flying to the capital, Kuala Lumpur, and the northern city of Kota Bahru. It had plans to fly to more Malaysian cities and eventually schedule flights to Mecca for the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, reports said.
The DCA has said Rayani Air is still liable to refund ticket holders whom have not flown with the airline due to this action. In the event consumers are not able to obtain their refunds, they can file a civil suit for those refunds.