Malaysia shuts down first sharia-com­pli­ant air­line

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

LUMPUR —Rayani Air, Malaysia’s first Is­lamic-com­pli­ant air­line, has been shut down, reg­u­la­tors said Monday, months af­ter it was sus­pended from fly­ing for breach­ing avi­a­tion reg­u­la­tions.

The car­rier launched only in De­cem­ber with Mus­lim flight crew wear­ing the hi­jab while non-Mus­lim mem­bers were for­bid­den from wear­ing re­veal­ing cloth­ing. In-flight meals were com­pletely ha­lal and al­co­hol con­sump­tion banned.

But af­ter an “in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the ad­min­is­tra­tion and safety au­dit” of the air­line, the Depart­ment of Avi­a­tion (DCA) said it has re­voked Rayani’s Air Op­er­a­tor Cer­tifi­cate.

The DCA launched an in­quiry into the air­line in April fol­low­ing a string of crit­i­cisms from pas­sen­gers and the govern­ment over de­lays and last-minute can­cel­la­tions.

That month saw pilots of the car­rier, which op­er­ates two Boe­ing 737-400s, also go on strike over un­paid wages, fur­ther dam­ag­ing its im­age.

DCA di­rec­tor-gen­eral Azharud­din Ab­dul Rah­man said the govern­ment took the step to cease Rayani’s oper­a­tion be­cause “safety and se­cu­rity of the avi­a­tion in­dus­try is of para­mount im­por­tance”.

The de­ci­sion comes two years af­ter Malaysia faced twin avi­a­tion dis­as­ters.

Malaysia Air­lines flight MH17 was shot down in July 2014 over rebel-held eastern Ukraine in a mis­sile strike, killing all 298 peo­ple on board.

Aus­tralia is lead­ing the search for Malaysia Air­lines flight MH370 in the re­mote In­dian Ocean, where the Bei­jing­bound plane is be­lieved to have di­verted when it dis­ap­peared on March 8, 2014 car­ry­ing 239 pas­sen­gers and crew. The air­line vows to fight back A mes­sage posted on Rayani Air’s Face­book page says that the air­line will sub­mit an ap­peal to the DCA MAV­COM with the re­quest that air­line be given a sec­ond chance. This is be­cause it is very im­por­tant for RayaniAir to re­sume its op­er­a­tions as it needs to pay its em­ploy­ees salary and re­fund the tick­ets to its val­ued cus­tomers and set­tle other li­a­bil­i­ties.—AFP

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