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PUTRAJAYA, 11 April 2016:

The Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) today provisionally suspended Rayani Air’s Air Operator Certificate (AOC) for three months effective today.

DCA director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the suspension notice had been sent to Malaysia’s first syariah-compliant airline today.

“The suspension will be lifted if they fulfil all of our requirements or we can permanently suspend (Rayani Air) or impose a longer term. Three months is provisional. We have discussed with the airline and they know about it. It’s up to them to improve,” he told a press conference here today.

Following the suspension notice, DCA would undertake a full administration and safety audit of Rayani Air’s state of operations to assess its compliance with the AOC, he said.

He said an inquiry on Rayani Air would be held on May 12 pertaining to the suspension order.

Azharuddin said this was the first time an airline’s AOC was suspended under Regulation 87(1) of Malaysia Civil Aviation Regulation 1996.

With the provisional suspension, the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) which now govern the Air Service Licences (ASL), would perform an evaluation on Rayani Air’s commercial standing and capabilities to determine its ability to continue as an ASL-holder, he said.

“The DCA, the Ministry of Transport and MAVCOM are working with all relevant parties to help resolve passenger complaints,” he said adding that prior to the provisional suspension, the DCA had issued two warning letters to Rayani Air on for noncompliance and poor service.

“However, despite multiple warnings, Rayani Air had contravened conditions of their AOC,” said Azharuddin stressing that the DCA would ensure all airlines issued AOC fulfilled the requirements under the Civil Aviation Regulations 1996.

“If they are unable to sustain their obligations to the regulations, then we will issue warnings as well as offer advice. If they are unable to fulfil the requirements, we can suspend (them).”

Asked whether the suspension on Rayani Air would give a bad reputation to Malaysia’s aviation industry, Azharuddin said DCA was just exercising its rights in accordance with the regulations.

“We cannot let the airline that has contravened our regulations to fly. We must do something about it.”

Azharuddin said only DCA was empowered to suspend airlines and if any airline intended to cease operations, they must provide at least six months notice to the department.

The airline had suspended its operations on Friday until further notice, citing a strike by its pilots.

Rayani Air Sdn Bhd, a full service airline in Malaysia launched three months ago, is the first syariah-compliant airline in Malaysia and the fourth airline in the world after Royal Brunei Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Iran Air.

Rayani Air, in its Facebook posting, said customers could contact its call centre at +603-27214925 for further enquiries.

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