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Sharia-compliant airline: How did authorities approve this airline in the first place?

Apr 11, 2016

How did the approving Malaysian authorities approve this Sharia compliant airline in the first place? Did they not look into the backgrounds and experience of the promoters, the managerial, technical and safety competence, the company’s structure, as well as its capital and finances before issuing the operating license?

Sharia is Islamic law based on the teachings of the Koran, and governs many day-to-day practices for observant Muslims.

Rayani Air is unable to meet aviation requirements despite being warned by the Transport Ministry and Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).

Rayani Air, Malaysia’s first sharia - compliant airline, had on Saturday announced that it was suspending its operations immediately as part of its restructuring plan after a strike by its pilots the day before.

The airline serviced only domestic flights within Malaysia at this time.

As a result, a provisional suspension notice will be sent to the airline today, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

It defies logic that the airline could get into trouble so soon if indeed the approving authorities had done their work diligently and properly.

What happened in Rayani Air is more than the fault of the airline. It calls into question the whole approval and regulatory processes of the country.

Running an airline is not the same as operating a roadside burger store and I urge the Transport Minister be serious with his warnings and pursue follow-up action against the airline.

The Syariah-compliant airline that began with pomp and splendor could in fact bring disrepute to Islam if indeed it has violated many of the conditions in its operating license.

How can we ever accept unreasonable delays, technical faults, pilot strikes, sabotage and “restructuring exercises” shortly after about 100 days since the airline’s operations commenced? Was Rayani Air an airline or an express bus company

What happened in Rayani Air is more than the fault of the airline. It calls into question the whole approval and regulatory processes of the country.

It defies logic that the airline could get into trouble so soon if indeed the approving authorities had done their work diligently and properly.

Airline expert TK Chua said: "I am relieved no untoward incidents have occurred. I am glad the Transport Minister has issued his warning. While the airline must buck up, I think it is time regulatory authorities re-examined its approval and monitoring processes."

"I am sure there are stringent conditions an airline must adhere to. I am sure there are robust monitoring mechanisms to ensure these conditions are met. Granted, most of us want cheap air travel but I do not think we want it at the expense of safety and having to put up with extreme inconvenience."

It is the job of the regulatory authorities to ensure compliance. When mishaps or cheating occur, the regulatory authorities are looked to for answers.

TK Chua continued: "I am not saying most airlines are irresponsible. I am saying they need to be kept under the watchful eyes of regulatory bodies, more so in an industry faced with cutthroat competition."

Sharia-compliant airline:  How did authorities approve this airline in the first place?



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