web analytics

Review: RN600 – Rayani Air Inaugural Flight to Langkawi. Let’s Fly.

 Don’t ask me why but I get excited when there’s a new player in the local airline industry. When Firefly started their operations in 2008 and Malindo in 2013 I was fast to check out what they had to offer. I guess I still have this “aviation habit” in me and when the latest kid on the block, Rayani Air announced that they are starting on Dec 20, 2015, I immediately booked a ticket on their inaugural flight.

Selamat datang to the Malaysian aviation scene Rayani Air!

SONY DSC

Rayani Airlines is a venture led by its founders Mr. Ravi Alagendrran and his wife Datuk Karthiyani Govindan. Put both the founders name and you’ll get the name of the airline :). While finding a name may not be challenging, setting up a new airline is a daunting task. After months of hard work, the airline finally ready for its Day One operation just in time for the year-end Holidays.

RN0600 – Rayani Air’s Inaugural Flight.

SONY DSC

I was able to secure my tickets online quite easily. A RM150 return ticket to Langkawi. Not really dirt cheap in comparing to some other airlines but I am keen to try them out so price is secondary. There are still a few things on their site that bothers me such as usage of stock photos, price of fares kept changing randomly and lack of information on their fleet. I guess these are minor hiccups but I think it should be addressed prior to launch.

Rayani Air utilizes klia2 terminal (Row S check-in counters) so make sure you don’t head towards the main terminal.

SONY DSC

My wife and I were at the airport quite early as we had anticipated that the terminal can get a bit crowded this time of the year. Thankfully there were quite a number of counters opened for this one flight to Langkawi.
SONY DSC

It took us about 25 minutes to check-in mainly due to some confusion with the system and at the same time they were trying to do a group check in for the media delegates covering the flight. After stressing out that a paid customers like us should have priority, we managed to get our boarding passes ready within a minute. Despite the wait, it is worth mentioning that the check-in lady was very friendly and took the effort to apologize for keeping us waiting and she even asked for our seat preferences. Nice work!

5

At gate J5, it was fun to bump into few familiar faces, a normal thing during a special flight. Fellow aviation fans, soon to be former colleagues and more importantly readers of AzuanZahdi.com. It was nice meeting all of you.

SONY DSC

Rayani Air kick-starts their operation by using former Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-400. You might recall that in June 2014, I took the last flight before the 737-400 was retired from Malaysia Airlines service (click here to read).

Now these hardworking planes (2 so far!) are back in service. It is nice to see that these planes are given an extended life.

SONY DSC

I am however not a big fan of the livery and color combinations. Probably it is just me.

“Let’s fly”. 9M-RKA, previously 9M-MQB.

SONY DSC
The team behind the airline is also promoting Rayani Air as a “Syariah Compliant” airline.

Some of the features that they are proud of includes making it mandatory for Muslim female cabin crew to wear a hijab, a “more decent” uniform for all, halal certified meals on-board with no alcohol served and recital of “doa” before every flight.

9

I personally love the idea of allowing crew to wear hijab as many crew and ex-crew that I know are keen to continue flying but do not have access to airlines that allow crew with hijab.

However on the other features of this “Syariah compliant” airline, it is actually not something totally new. Some of these features are already common practices in some other local airlines as well. Nevertheless let us see how the general public views this concept   🙂

At 15 minutes before departure time, boarding announcements were made.

SONY DSC

9M-RKA’s new “plate number” 🙂

SONY DSC

The sweet smell of Boeing 737-400 is still there. Rayani Air opted to keep the previous owner’s layout and seats with changes only in including Rayani’s branding. Not that I am complaining as the Boeing 737-400 seats are the cushion type which is very comfy with ample leg-room.

The 4 rows of Business Class seats.

SONY DSC

The economy class cabin.

SONY DSC

The colourful or commonly known as “smarties seats”. Some love them, some hate them, 🙂

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Ample leg room even when there’s a bag underneath the seat in front of you.

SONY DSC

Unfortunately despite a speedy boarding process, flight RN600 could not leave on-time. However this was for a good reason as a group of kids from a Rumah Anak Yatim was late and the airline wanted to wait, which personally I do not mind as it was a special flight and I was not rushing.

The extra time gave me the opportunity to chat with the crew to know more about the airline. Awesome set of crew for this inaugural flight.

17 

About 90 minutes  later, we finally left for Langkawi.

Manual safety demo. It has been a while since I see this kind of demo on-board a jet plane.

SONY DSC

 

 

Recital of doa.

 

Hope to see more green and blue at the terminal after this.

SONY DSC

As the plane settles at its cruise altitude, cabin crew began their in-flight service.

SONY DSC

The free refreshments!

SONY DSC

The snack pack contains a tasty muffin, fruit juice and peanuts. Definitely beyond “low-cost”

SONY DSC

At the same time, for those with bigger appetite, food and drinks are also available for purchase.

SONY DSC

Unfortunately no merchandise was available in the first flight but here are some of the items.

SONY DSC

It was a smooth ride all the way to Langkawi. Yes the Boring 737-400 planes are more than 20 years old but that’s perfectly normal as long as it has been maintained well by the airlines. Knowing that it is an ex-MAS plane gave me comfort.

SONY DSC

Cute safety card and sick bag.

SONY DSC

The management of Rayani Air thanked each of the passengers before the crew prepare the cabin for arrival.

SONY DSC

Approaching Langkawi airport.

SONY DSC

A grand welcome for Rayani Air. Water cannon tribute by the AFRS team in LGK.

SONY DSC

More photos below, but just a quick note, since you’re heading to Kota Bharu or Langkawi with Rayani Air, you might also want to get good hotel deals, I highly recommend our partner, Agoda. Check out their hotel offers. 🙂


A quick look at the compartment for hand luggage. Can easily fit a cabin-size luggage.

SONY DSC One for the album.

29

Nice little touch by the airline for passengers to remember this special flight.

30

The friendly crew (some I’ve known for years and had wear different colours), posing for the media.

SONY DSC

It was a fun flight and definitely money worth spending. In a nutshell, I think Rayani Air is still in its infancy stage but have potential to grow. Starting with only 2 planes will be quite challenging. Not because it is old planes but airplanes do get “unwell” from time to time and having a small fleet does poses a risk of delays and cancellation. Nevertheless, at one glance the current schedule looks doable with two planes and there are some gaps between sectors which could cushion any slight delay.

I would love to see them focusing on marketing the airline as a reliable and value for money alternative to what’s available out there and not so much focus on “Syariah Compliant”. In the end the passengers would only look for a safe, on-time and value-for-money option.  My 2 sen worth.

Would I fly with Rayani Air again? Yes, although my loyalty and preferences towards certain brands remains intact, it won’t stop me from trying others. Yes I am talking about airlines not its crew. 😛

All the best Rayani Air, blue skies ahead!

Need more? Why don’t check out my video review on Rayani Air too. 

SONY DSC

 

Note: All photos are mine. If you would like to use it, please contact me.

13 Comments

  1. RaW | Ramble and Wander December 21, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    I’m not a fan of their colours and livery either but that shouldn’t affect my choice of an airline 🙂 The website however… hmm… like you said, can do well with some improvements.

    Anyways, quite impressed with the snack pack, certainly more “luxurious” than other local options. Makes me wonder what they are offering in their Business Class, more so when their promo fares are only RM199, for both LGK and KBR.

    Great review, as always, by the way. 🙂

  2. Hafiz Nasir December 21, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Great review as always sir 🙂

    Not a big fan of the livery too. Reminds me of the old MAS livery.

    I also noticed that the fares keep changing from RM49 one way to RM90-100. Hopefully they’ll fix the glitch soon.

    BTW do you have any news regarding Flymojo? Last I heard they planned to start operation in October this year.. What happened to them?

  3. daniaryezel December 22, 2015 at 12:45 am

    Great effort in including women with hijab in the industry. It gives then a fairer level playing game and alternative to continue flying.

    However, I feel that it would be more amazing if they would accept those who wear and don’t wear hijab to change the game rather than exclude one or the other totally. Then again they are harping on the syariah compliant thing and we live in a world full of extreme choices. I just feel that it would represent a much more tolerant approach considering they are already selling the religion. One I’m quite sick of since it’s being abused by so many parties at large.

    Although, if I’m not mistaken, I might’ve saw a crew who wasn’t wearing hijab in your photo. Is she part of the airline? If so, that’s cool! Albeit a bit confusing with the protocol.

    Seriously tho, a reliable, on-time/fuss free, good safety wins any day. So they don’t really need to play the religion card too much. After all, by meeting these needs from passengers will score them highly 🙂

    On another note, those colour..my eyes! Aiyoh!

    Sekian, after not leaving comments a long time, this ended up as a rant. Oops! A silent reader’s number one problem.

    • azuan December 22, 2015 at 7:54 am

      totally agree with your view. Thanks Dian! 🙂

    • dyna January 10, 2016 at 8:29 am

      Excuse me.. but from what I have know, the airline also accepts NON muslims to work for them.So maybe the non hijabi is a non muslim. The airline states that all muslim workers wear hijab while non muslims wear decent attire.Hope that answers you question:)

  4. mal berkat December 23, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    So lengkap. Confirm dapat join rayani air MEDIA fam trip ke KK bulan depan 😀

  5. Leony Eka December 23, 2015 at 6:40 pm

    Their uniform seems so similar with Sriwijaya Air current uniform…

    Sriwijaya Air new uniform, introduced in November 10th, 2015(only for stewardess, steward uniform already since 2012) : https://www.instagram.com/p/-gz08emU0H/?tagged=sriwijayaaircrew
    https://www.instagram.com/p/_fwK6_lIsz/?tagged=sriwijayaaircrew

    Anyway, nice trip report! 🙂

  6. Mishael December 23, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    I share the same feeling! It’s kinda sentimental to see the old planes that was used at the start of my career dulu. ❤️ And that colors! And the smell! Hahahaha! Was looking forward to your post, thanks for the info!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*
To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the answer to the math equation shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the equation.
Click to hear an audio file of the anti-spam equation

You may also like