4 Major Slip-Ups That Have Happened Since Rayani Air Began Its Operations

The airline may be suspended if they do not improve their standards and services.

Cover image via The Australian

On 20 December last year, Malaysia's first and the world's fourth Syaria-compliant airline, Rayani Air, started operations when it took off on its maiden flight to Langkawi from Kuala Lumpur

Image via Bloomberg TV

Rayani Air is a full-service airline that adheres to Islamic rule, thus it only serves halal dishes and requires for prayers to be recited before the flight departs.

The Islamic airline was founded by ethnic Malaysian Indians, Ravi Alagendrran and his wife Karthiyani Govindan. The name Rayani, is said to be the combination of Ravi and his wife Karthiyani's name.

Reflective of the Syariah guidelines, the Muslim female crew are required to wear hijab, while the non-Muslim crew have to be decently dressed.

Rayani Air's current destinations are to Langkawi International Airport (Rayani Air's base), Kuala Lumpur International Airport , Kota Bharu- Sultan Ismail Petra Airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport and Kuching International Airport.

Unfortunately, the excitement was short-lived as complains started pouring in about the poor management and service of the Islamic airline.

Here are some of the major incidents that have tainted the reputation of Rayani Airlines:

Image via Yahoo! News

1. The first ever major complaint about the airline came on 9 February when 200 passengers were stranded at the Langkawi International Airport after the flight was cancelled due to "technical glitches"

Passengers standing by the Rayani Air office at the Langkawi International Airport to obtain more information about the canceled flights

Image via New Straits Times

More than 200 passengers were today stranded at the Langkawi International Airport after a Boeing 737 aircraft of Rayani Air developed technical problems.

Flight RN180 scheduled for the KL International Airport 2 (KLIA2) at 11.10am was not allowed to depart due to the technical problems.

He said the affected passengers were given a choice whether to use ferry and bus services provided by the Rayani Air back to Kuala Lumpur or to get their air fares refunded.

The officer said another Rayani Air flight scheduled at 6.20pm had also been cancelled.

In a statement that was issued following the delay, the Rayani Air management informed that the flight cancelation was caused by a shattered windshield from the cockpit of Boeing 737

Rayani Air crew inspecting the replaced windshield of Boeing 737

Image via Malay Mail Online

The Kuala Lumpur bound flight cancellation that left hundreds stranded in Langkawi yesterday was caused by a shattered windshield in the cockpit of the Boeing 737, Rayani Air said today.

Malaysia’s first ever “shariah-compliant” carrier said in a statement issued this evening the windshield was found broken after yesterday’s night stop flight, adding that it was investigating the matter including for possible sabotage.

“On behalf of Rayani Air we apologise for the flight cancellation from Langkawi today. This is not due to some technical error or event. Our windshield in the cockpit was found to be shattered after yesterday’s night stop flight.

“We are investigating this incident whether it is an act of sabotage or not. We will liaise with relevant authorities to deal with this,” the statement read.

2. In the midst of that unresolved issue, comments and videos started surfacing online about a 13-hour delay for a Kota Kinabalu bound flight

According to a comment that was directed to the official Twitter handle of Rayani Air, a fellow passenger expressed her frustration about a Kota Kinabalu bound flight that was due to depart on 16 March at 11:10am but was delayed and re-timed multiple times instead.

Another Facebook user also narrated her experience of that similar situation, pointing out that when they were finally boarded the flight, the day after, on the 17th of March at 2am, the passengers were asked to disembark from the flight due to 'technical errors'.

The Facebook status further enlightened that the Rayani management informed that the flight has been cancelled only at 10:43am, the next morning.

3. The days followed with even more flight delays, flight cancellations and complaints about their Rayani's customer service

"Made my 80-year-old grandmother wait for the flight from 8:30pm till 9:30am (the next day), and then (they) canceled the flight," read one of the complaints on Twitter.

The complainants were further enraged by the fact that Rayani Air failed to provide replacement flights after cancelling the scheduled ones.

More complains on flight delays

Image via Facebook/ Rayani Air

A passenger even resorted to 'reminding' the airlines about his refund on their official Facebook page post

4. Making matters worse, Kampung Tunku Assemblyman Lau Weng San posted a photo of a handwritten boarding pass that he received when flying from Kuala Lumpur to Sarawak with Rayani Air on 19 March

Lau Weng San's handwritten boarding pass from Rayani Air

Image via Facebook/Lau Weng San

On March 19, a picture of a handwritten boarding pass went viral after Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San posted the image on his social media account.

The post received more than 300 likes. However, the authenticity of the image has not yet been confirmed.

In his Facebook post, Lau had made fun of the handwritten boarding pass, noting how good the handwriting was. He also said that only in Malaysia could one find handwritten boarding passes.

A boarding pass is a piece of document provided by airlines during check-ins, giving the passenger permission to board the flight. The pass would detail the passenger's identification, the flight schedule and number.

Warning that handwritten boarding passes could pose a security threat, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai informed that Rayani Air is now officially under the investigation of the Transport Ministry

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai

Image via Malay Mail Online

"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 also mentioned that Rayani Air may face suspension if the airline doesn't buckle up and improve its services

Image via Yahoo! News

The Transport Ministry has also 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," said Liow.

The airline has been slapped with a warning to comply with regulations, he said. He warned that the airline would be referred to the Aviation Commission if complaints against it continued to pour in.

Liow warned that the Ministry can suspend the airlines if they fail to comply with existing rules and that the airline is being monitored closely now.

Responding to the complaints, the Rayani Air management has apparently expressed their willingness to adhere to the standards of Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA):