Just four months after its debut take off, Rayani Air has been suspended by the Department of Civil Aviation of Malaysia (DCA) for failing to adhere to regulations.
This follows pilot strikes reported on Apr 8 which resulted in the cancellation of flights from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Kinabalu, Langkawi and Kuching. DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin also said an inquiry regarding the airline would be conducted on May 12.
The airline has issued an apology to customers and clients on its Facebook page on April 11:
Dear Valued Clients,
Firstly, we are very sorry for the inconveniences caused. We are working very hard to solve our internal matters and get Rayani back on track. We understand that your plans and scheduled agendas have been disrupted, we truly apologize. We will reply each and every email on your queries and refunds. We thank you for your understanding and support.
Meanwhile, competitors AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines have stepped in offering discounts on their flights to those affected by Rayani Air’s suspension. AirAsia will be offering 50% discounts to and from Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Kota Baharu, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, while Malaysia Airlines focuses on efforts to help those in need of immediate flights.
In statement to The Star Malaysia, MAS chief commercial officer Paul Simmons said that as a national carrier, it was the duty of MAS to extend assistance to Rayani Air passengers. The MAS discounted fares are available until April 30 for immediate travel until July 31 this year.
“In this case, we are offering affected passengers special fares to connect them to their intended destinations. We hope this offer will help alleviate the passengers’ travel woes,” said Simmons to The Star.
Rayani Air first gained public attention in December last year as the first Islamic airline which strictly follows Islamic laws, complete with a halal menu, prayer calls before flight take offs and a hijab-donned female Muslim flight crew.