KUALA LUMPUR, July 12 — Rayani Air said today that it could not afford to pay refunds to customers after investors pulled out when the Shariah compliant airline had its licences revoked.
In a Facebook posting today, the troubled airline admitted that no investor wanted to work with them since Putrajaya barred it last month from operating when the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) and Malaysian Aviation Commission (Mavcom) revoked its air operator certificate and air service licence respectively.
“We apologise for still not being able to refund the flight tickets despite trying our best,” said Rayani Air.
“The revocation of our ASL (air service licence) and ASP (air service permit) licences was done at a time when we were finalising investment into the company. With the revocation, no investor wants to work with us.
“With the revocation of the licences, the investors who gave their commitment to provide capital by June 30, 2016 to resolve the refunds have pulled out unexpectedly,” it added.
The company stressed that it was working hard to get a second chance from the DCA and the Mavcom, which would give them an opportunity to allow a new management team to take over.
Rayani Air said, however, that it could not promise when that would happen.
Last week, a group of 40 customers claimed the cheques they received from Rayani Air as refunds had bounced.
The group reportedly represents some 200 others, and their claims from the airline involve some RM150,000.
Rayani Air was first suspended in April after it unilaterally halted operations when a pilot strike left it crippled.
On April 10, the airline promised to refund customers for tickets.
A day later, the DCA suspended the airline’s air operator certificate (AOC) over the unauthorised halt in operations.
On June 13, the DCA and the MAVCOM announced the revocation of Rayani Air’s AOC and ASL respectively, following an inquiry into the troubled airline’s commercial standing and safety aspects.
Airline operators are required to apply for both the AOC and the ASL before they are allowed to commence operations.
The airline’s owner and CEO Ravi Alegandrran later appealed to be allowed to operate under a new management, claiming that negotiations with investors were at a peak and that a new management would be able to revive the company.