PPIM: Sell Rayani Air to whoever can pay salaries

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KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Muslim Consumers Association (PPIM) has suggested that Rayani Air be put up for sale to whichever party that can settle the woes of its former staff and refund the money owed to its passengers.

PPIM Head Activist Nadzim Johan, at a press conference today, asked for the Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) and the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) to intervene in the matter.

“There are a lot of people with lots of money to spare who would ‘love’ to have an airline licence. This is the best way to settle the matter ‘the hard way’.

“We want to create a situation where both parties are satisfied.

“Often, people forget that when companies shut down or get suspended, the owners don’t intend to not pay their staff or refund their customers.

“But they have no way of doing so since they are no longer making money.”

A former Rayani Air staff member, who only wanted to be known as Azharudin, told the press conference that there were currently some 450 workers of the airline who had not been paid their salaries.

He pointed out that their pay was also accumulating since none of the staff were served with a notice of termination after they were let go in July.

A passenger, Azlan Syan Latang, said it had been three months since passengers were “reimbursed” by the airline for their purchased tickets – with bounced cheques.

According to PPIM Legal Adviser Mohamad Saddiq Azani, Rayani Air owed its passengers more than RM173,000 in refunds, and owed its former staff RM6 million in salaries.

Rayani Air was launched in December 2015 with two Boeing 737-400s. Its selling factor was the adherence to Islamic law, which included the rule of having its Muslim flight crew donning hijab while the non-Muslim crew were forbidden from wearing revealing clothing on board.

The carrier’s licence to operate, however, was suspended in April after increasing criticisms due to last-minute delays and flight cancellations as its pilots launched a strike for their unpaid salaries.

Its operating licence was subsequently revoked.