Malaysia launches its first “Shariah compliant” airlines

Malaysia’s first “Shariah compliant” airlines started operations on Thursday with a domestic route from Kuala Lumpur to the island of Langkawi.

“Rayani Air” only serves halal food and alcohol consumption on board is strictly prohibited.

Female Muslim flight crew have to wear the hijab while non-Muslim crew are to be “decently dressed”, according to the airlines’ Managing Director. There will also be prayer recitals before the departure of each flight, he said.

The airline will initially fly to Langkawi, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Bharu, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu. There are plans to introduce routes to the Middle East and provide flights for both the Umrah and Hajj.

The airline has two Boeing 737-400 aircraft and hopes to add more aircraft as it expands its network into Asia in 2016. It currently has 355 employees, including eight pilots and 50 cabin crew.

The airline boasts on its website of a 20-40kg check-in baggage allowance. It also says its room seats in both the economy and business class have received fantastic reviews.

Rayani Air is the fourth airline in the world which claims to implement Shariah law. The other airlines include Royal Brunei Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Iran Air.

The halal standards is not only limited to food but also to cosmetics products, which may contain animal-derived ingredients.

It also covers the conditions under which they are prepared and stored as well.

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