Malaysia’s New Shariah-Compliant Airline Has Already Stopped Flying

Filed Under: Other Airlines

In late December I wrote about Rayani Air, the new Malaysian low cost carrier based in Langkawi, Malaysia, which began operating late last year. They were planning on operating domestically using Boeing 737-400 aircraft, which were formerly owned by Malaysia Airlines.


They operated successfully for a bit over three months, and were the world’s fourth Shariah-compliant airline, after Iran Air, Royal Brunei Airlines, and Saudi Arabian Airlines. In practice them being Shariah-compliant consisted of the following:

  • In-flight meals are completely halal
  • Alcohol consumption is strictly prohibited
  • Muslim flight crew must don the hijab (non-Muslim crews are to be “decently dressed”)
  • There will be a prayer before takeoff


It’s an interesting concept, and they seemed to want to use their Shariah-compliance as a competitive advantage.

However, it seems like their business model may not have worked out as well as they had hoped. Rayani Air’s pilots went on strike last week, causing the airline to suspend operations. There’s nothing quite like a strike only shortly after an airline launches!

Furthermore, Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) took issue with this, and issued Rayani Air a three month suspension. Per Channel News Asia:

Rayani Air had earlier suspended its operations on Friday, citing a strike by its pilots. However the Malaysian civil aviation authority took issue with this: “If an airline intends to cease operations, they must provide at least six months notice to the DCA. Under the regulations, only DCA is empowered to suspend airlines,” DCA said.

The airline was issued a provisional suspension for three months by Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) on Sunday (Apr 10) on grounds of safety concerns and unpaid salaries, Malaysian media had reported.

DCA said it will undertake a full administration and safety audit of Rayani Air’s state of operations. Prior to the suspension, the DCA has issued two warning letters to Rayani Air on the non-compliance and poor service levels, and had been given multiple warnings, it said.

I’d be very surprised if this airline ever flies again…

If you do hold a ticket on Rayani Air, Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia are offering discounted tickets to passengers affected by the suspension.

  1. No will the idiot in MH take a hint and bring back drinks service on their own narrow body service?

  2. I really don’t care what people do as long as it doesn’t infringe on other people’s right, but religion really is the absolute worst.

  3. No place for religion in today’s society. We face unprecedented challenges in the future and maroons continue to pull us in the past.

    We should withhold any progress made through science from these people. Maybe Allah will provide them with flying carpets or maybe Jesus will provide his followers unending supply of wine himself.

    The jerks trying to setup an Islamic caliphate are using guns from Western culture for their means. They would be fighting with swords still if left to themselves and their quran.

    Amazing hypocrisy and lack humility.

  4. Maybe in your world there is no place for religion in society. If you want to be athiest that’s ur thing but you don’t have to go around critizizing other religions. Watch what ur saying. And by the way these “jerks” that misrepresent their religion aren’t Acually Muslims. These radical terriosts misrepresent Islam.

  5. I’ve flown to Pakistan quite a few times. It’s a dry country….so they say. When I see the amounts that people are drinking in the lounge AND on the plane, you’d think otherwise.

  6. You might add that MAS and Air Asia have offered special “rescue fares” to people that were booked on Rayani. MAS offers an unspecified “special fare” while Air Asia is offering a flat 50% off if you can prove you bought a Rayani ticket.

  7. @Igat

    Problem reading do we?

    Last sentence in the article, it has been there long before you wrote your comment
    “If you do hold a ticket on Rayani Air, Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia are offering discounted tickets to passengers affected by the suspension.”

  8. Sorry to hear about an airline business failing . The requirements mentioned would not have bothered me . Not paying the crew does !

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