Malaysia’s Islamic airline Rayani Air barred from flying

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Rayani Air has eight pilots and some 50 crew

Malaysia’s first Islamic-compliant airline, Rayani Air, has been barred from flying for breaching regulations.

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) said it was revoking the airline’s certification because of concerns over its safety audit and administration.

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.

Rayani Air: Five things about Malaysia’s Islamic airline

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Non-Muslim staff were required to “dress decently” while Muslim female staff wore hijabs

The DCA said on Monday that Rayani Air could no longer operate as 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.

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