World's first fully Sharia compliant airline launched
A new low-cost airline has been launched in Malaysia, claiming to be the world’s first fully Sharia compliant air carrier.
Rayani Airlines managing director Jaafar Zamhari says it strictly follows Sharia rules “based on guidelines by relevant authorities”, which include mandatory hijabs for female Muslim cabin crew, while non-Muslims must wear “a decent uniform”.
Speaking as the firm launched its maiden flight, Zamhari also said that prayers will be recited before the departure of each flight - while alcohol is strictly forbidden and any food and beverages provided will be halal.
The airline currently only provides domestic flights, but plans to expand its network internationally in 2016, with routes to the Middle East and flights for the Umrah and Hajj pilgrimages.
Rayani Airlines may not be the only fully Sharia compliant airline for long, there are plans for the launch of a Sharia compliant UK-based airline next year.
Firnas Airways was founded by Bangladeshi businessman Kazi Shafiqur Rahman. It seeks to combine a “Sharia-compliant approach to funding, alcohol and food with a more upscale cabin product than available to many Islamic destinations”, reports Bloomberg.
Other airlines that comply with some Sharia laws include Emirates, which does not serve pork on its flights, and Etihad, which has a travel prayer before take-off.
‘Sharia law’ refers to the legal framework based on the moral and legal code of Islam. Malaysia is a majority Muslim country, with over 61 per cent of the population identifying as Muslim.