Malaysia’s latest airline targets Muslim travelers

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Rayani AirA new airline in Malaysia is taking off on December 20 on its maiden flight from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi where it has its hub: Rayani Air.

The new, privately-owned carrier first plans to fly between Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi and the northeastern Malaysian city of Kota Bahru, and then extend the route network to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu by early 2016. Future destinations could be Pekanbaru and Medan in Indonesia, Phuket in Thailand and selected cities in China.

As it enters a crowded market where other domestic carriers such AirAsia, Malindo Air Firefly, MASwings and Flymojo already have a solid footing, Rayani Air designed its very own sales proposition: It markets itself as a Shariah-compliant airline.

This means that Rayani Air made it compulsory for Muslim women cabin crew to wear hijab and for non-Muslim staff to wear a decent uniform. The airline also only serves halal food and does not serve alcohol and recites prayers before the departure of each flight.

Rayani Air staffThat way, Rayani Air is the fourth airline in the world that is Shariah-compliant after Royal Brunei Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Iran Air.

According to Managing Director Jaafar Zamhar, Rayani Air does not see itself as a low-cost carrier but provides full service including free baggage allowance and business class seats.

The airline has been founded by Malaysian businessman Ravi Alagendrran and is currently owned by his wife Karthiyani Govindan (49 per cent)  and fellow businessman Umad Suhaili. (51 per cent). It currently operates two Boeing 737-400 bought from Malaysia-based cargo operator Neptune Air and has another two used Boeing 737-400 on order, as well as two Boeing 737-800 which it plans to take over from Scandinavian Airlines by 2017. A new aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER, is planned to be purchased for long-haul flights to Jeddah to be used during umrah and haj.

Zamhar said to fund the expansion, the company is currently studying “all financing option” including a stock listing of the airline.

Originally, Rayani Airlines was planned to be based in Malacca, but it later changed its hub to Langkawi International Airport in order to attract tourists to the resort island and because the airport has a higher capacity. Rayani Air has now 355 employees, including eight pilots and 50 cabin crew. It aims at breaking even in three years.

 

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

A new airline in Malaysia is taking off on December 20 on its maiden flight from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi where it has its hub: Rayani Air.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Rayani AirA new airline in Malaysia is taking off on December 20 on its maiden flight from Kuala Lumpur to Langkawi where it has its hub: Rayani Air.

The new, privately-owned carrier first plans to fly between Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi and the northeastern Malaysian city of Kota Bahru, and then extend the route network to Kuching and Kota Kinabalu by early 2016. Future destinations could be Pekanbaru and Medan in Indonesia, Phuket in Thailand and selected cities in China.

As it enters a crowded market where other domestic carriers such AirAsia, Malindo Air Firefly, MASwings and Flymojo already have a solid footing, Rayani Air designed its very own sales proposition: It markets itself as a Shariah-compliant airline.

This means that Rayani Air made it compulsory for Muslim women cabin crew to wear hijab and for non-Muslim staff to wear a decent uniform. The airline also only serves halal food and does not serve alcohol and recites prayers before the departure of each flight.

Rayani Air staffThat way, Rayani Air is the fourth airline in the world that is Shariah-compliant after Royal Brunei Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Iran Air.

According to Managing Director Jaafar Zamhar, Rayani Air does not see itself as a low-cost carrier but provides full service including free baggage allowance and business class seats.

The airline has been founded by Malaysian businessman Ravi Alagendrran and is currently owned by his wife Karthiyani Govindan (49 per cent)  and fellow businessman Umad Suhaili. (51 per cent). It currently operates two Boeing 737-400 bought from Malaysia-based cargo operator Neptune Air and has another two used Boeing 737-400 on order, as well as two Boeing 737-800 which it plans to take over from Scandinavian Airlines by 2017. A new aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER, is planned to be purchased for long-haul flights to Jeddah to be used during umrah and haj.

Zamhar said to fund the expansion, the company is currently studying “all financing option” including a stock listing of the airline.

Originally, Rayani Airlines was planned to be based in Malacca, but it later changed its hub to Langkawi International Airport in order to attract tourists to the resort island and because the airport has a higher capacity. Rayani Air has now 355 employees, including eight pilots and 50 cabin crew. It aims at breaking even in three years.

 

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