KUALA LUMPUR, July 6 — A group of 40 customers who sought reimbursements from Rayani Air during its suspension claimed today that the cheques they received from the troubled airline bounced.
The group’s representative Nik Azida Nik Mahmood told Astro Awani that they each received a cheque that was to be cashed last Thursday but these were eventually returned by the bank.
“After urging Rayani Air for a refund on May 24, the company gave a cheque that could only be cashed on June 30.
“When the day arrived, we went to the bank. Unfortunately, the bank contacted us to say that the cheque could not be used,” she was quoted as saying in Astro Awani’s online report.
Nik Azida lodged a police report on the matter last Saturday.
According to Astro Awani, the group of customers represent some 200 others, and their claims from the airline involve some RM150,000.
Rayani 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 Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) suspended the airline’s air operator certificate (AOC) over the unauthorised halt in operations.
On June 13, the DCA and the Malaysian Aviation Commission (MAVCOM) announced the revocation of Rayani Air’s AOC and air service license (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.
Ravi also claimed that prejudice and an unwillingness to give Rayani Air a chance to prove its worth were among the reasons why it ran into trouble so soon after inception.
The country’s first Shariah compliant airline has been beset by problems since it was launched less than a year ago last December, culminating in the strike by pilots over unpaid salaries.