PETALING JAYA: A pilot strike has caused the cancellation of certain Rayani Air flights, according to several customers who were informed about it several hours before flight time.
At least three flights from Kuala Lumpur – scheduled to fly to Langkawi (RN182), Kota Kinabalu (RN130) and Kuching (RN154) on Friday – were cancelled, according to posts on social media by unhappy customers.
Siti Nadwatul Shima Nor, 24, said her flight to Langkawi was rescheduled three times before it was finally cancelled.
The texts initially told her of a "re-timed" flight, before she received more texts citing a "pilot strike" and "operational requirement" informing her of the cancellation.
"Their call centre even contacted me today to remind me that the flight was on as scheduled – but it ended up being cancelled," she said.
Siti Nadwatul and 10 of her family members – including her wheelchair-bound father – had booked tickets on Feb 3 for a trip to Langkawi.
"I don't have a choice but to take my family members on a bus and buy us ferry tickets to Langkawi," she told The Star.
Siti Nadwatul said she would not be using her Rayani Air return ticket for the trip back to Kuala Lumpur, and had booked return flight tickets from another airline.
"This is so stressful, time-consuming and a waste of money," she said.
Real estate agent Des Jr Lee, who was supposed to fly to Kota Kinabalu with his fiancé at 7.45am on Friday, received a text informing him of the cancellation at 3am due to "pilots on strike".
The 31-year-old had to fork out RM1,000 for two new tickets from two different airlines for the couple's trip to Kota Kinabalu.
After seeing his fiancé off on an earlier 6pm flight Thursday, he had to stay the night at the airport for his flight at 6.30am Friday.
"Despite the minimal communication between ground staff and their superiors, they did their best to handle the situation.
"I also got a cash refund of RM396," Lee said.
When contacted, a Rayani Air spokesperson said she was not authorised to comment on the matter and asked to contact the airline founder instead.
However, calls to founder Ravi Alagendrran went to voicemail.