Malaysia’s new Islamic airline takes off — with a prayer – Houston Chronicle

The passengers — most of them Muslims — cup their hands, as a crew member murmurs a short prayer over the loudspeaker just before takeoff. The idea for Rayani Air grew out of much-publicized complaints by conservative Muslims who believed that two major air disasters for the national Malaysia Airlines — Flight 370 that went missing in March 2014 and Flight 17 downed a few months later over Ukraine — were caused by Allah’s wrath. The reaction to the disasters, and the creation of the airline that operated its inaugural flight on Sunday, is an example of rising hard-line Islamic values in Malaysia, where Muslims account for about 60 percent of the country’s 30 million people. Ironically, the people who answered the call of conservative Islam and started Rayani Air are Hindus, perhaps an indication that a business opportunity knows no religious boundary. On a 55-minute flight Tuesday (delayed by two hours) from Kuala Lumpur to the northeastern city of Kota Baru, more than 100 passengers were greeted by Muslim female flight attendants wearing black headscarves, long pants and lime-green jackets.

Source: Malaysia’s new Islamic airline takes off — with a prayer – Houston Chronicle

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