Rayani Air faces suspension if services fail to improve

By ADRIAN LAI - 21 March 2016 @ 7:28 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's first Syariah-compliant airline, Rayani Air, may have its wings clipped by having its operating licence suspended if it fails to improve its services and adhere to standards set by the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA).

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said action may be taken against the airline after his ministry received a myriad of complaints from passengers — ranging from flight delays and cancellations to poor service.

“Rayani Air has been cancelling flights without due notice. They have also repeatedly failed to provide replacement flights.

“We’ve given them a warning and they have to comply with regulations,” Liow told reporters when met outside the Parliament lobby today.

He said Rayani Air would be referred to the Aviation Commission if complaints against the fledgling airline persisted.

“If consumers feel they are not receiving (proper) service from Rayani Air, they can lodge a complaint with the commission.”

Liow said his ministry had issued the airline an official warning after one of its Langkawi-Kuala Lumpur flights was cancelled on Feb 9.

The Kuala Lumpur-bound flight cancellation, which left hundreds stranded in Langkawi, was caused by a shattered windshield in the cockpit of one of the airline’s Boeing 737 aircraft.

“They (the airline) suspected sabotage but they cannot make such a claim. They have to be very careful with facts. If a windshield is cracked, you cannot jump to conclusions,” Liow said.

Asked on claims that Rayani Air had issued handwritten boarding passes to passengers, Liow said his ministry would investigate the matter.

“Handwritten passes can pose a security threat. They should issue proper (printed) boarding passes.

“But we will investigate the claims thoroughly because handwritten passes could have been issued due to a system breakdown.”

Liow said he was made to understand that Rayani Air had expressed its commitment to comply with DCA standards and regulations.

“We will monitor the airline closely. If they fail (to improve), we will take action against it. We can even suspend their licence.”

Billing itself as Malaysia's first Islamic airline, Rayani Air began operations in Dec last year, offering passengers halal food and no alcohol on board its maiden flight.

(File pix) Malaysia's first Syariah-compliant airline, Rayani Air, may have its wings clipped by having its operating licence suspended if it fails to improve its services and adhere to standards set by the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA). Pix by Malai Rosmah Tuah