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Malaysia Shuts Down Sharia-Compliant Airline

Malaysian Aviation Commission said the airline did not follow aviation rules and lacked the financial and management capacity to continue operating as a commercial airline

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Malaysia's Rayani Air, the country's first Sharia-compliant airline owned by an ethnic Indian Hindu couple, was shut down on Monday, months after it was suspended for failing to adhere to aviation rules.

The Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) revoked Rayani Air's Air Service Licence (ASL) after finding Rayani Air had breached the conditions of its licence.

It said the airline also lacked the financial and management capacity to continue operating as a commercial airline.

"As a consequence, Rayani Air can no longer operate as a commercial airline with effect from today," it said.

The airline was founded by Ravi Alagendrran and his wife Karthiyani Govindan and started operations in December last year. They used parts of their first names for the airline's name.

On May 25, MAVCOM had issued a show-cause letter to Rayani Air after it had completed its evaluation of the airlines commercial standing and capabilities to determine whether it could continue as an ASL holder.

MAVCOM required the airline to submit its representation in writing within 14 days before the commission decides on whether Rayani Air should be allowed to continue to hold the ASL or whether it should be revoked, or suspended.

Rayani Air submitted its representation in writing to MAVCOM on the last day of the stipulated time.

"After reviewing Rayani Air's written representation, MAVCOM has decided to revoke the ASL as the representations made by Rayani Air are not satisfactory responses to the show cause letter dated May 25, 2016," it said.

The commission also said Rayani Air was still liable to refund its customers.

Customers who have purchased tickets with Rayani Air but were not able go on their journey may lodge a complaint with the company and seek a refund.

In the event consumers are not able to obtain their refunds, consumers can file a civil suit for those refunds.

Alternatively, affected consumers may lodge a formal complaint with the Commission, who can hear and determine the complaint, with a view of protecting legitimate consumer interests.

The Commission may apply for its decision to be registered as a judgement of the Malaysian High Court.

Rayani Air is Malaysia's first Sharia-compliant airline.


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