Malaysia launched the maiden voyage of its first shariah -compliant airline Sunday.
Rayani Air took off from the capital Kuala Lumpur to the resort island of Langkawi.
“We are the first Malaysian airline to be shariah-compliant based on guidelines by relevant authorities,” the company’s managing director Jaafar Zamhari told Malaysia’s Star newspaper. We are proud of this.”
In accordance to Islamic guidelines, in-flight meals are halal– meaning that animals must be slaughtered according to Islamic procedures and contain no pork– and alcohol consumption is strictly prohibited. Female Muslim flight crew are required to wear headscarves while non-Muslim crew are to be decently dressed, managing director Jaafar Zamhari told reporters.
There will also be prayer recitals on the plane before take-off.
There are already other shariah-friendly carriers operating around the world. Emirates doesn’t serve any pork products on their flights and Etihad has a travel prayer before takeoff. And the U.K.-based Firnas Airways is planning to offer similar flights next year, according to a Bloomberg news agency report.
Malaysia has a moderate Muslim-majority population, but conservative attitudes are rising.