QUICK TAKE: Have you ever said something, then regretted opening your mouth?
On 9 February 2016, a Boeing 737, belonging to Rayani Air, failed to take off from Langkawi International Airport, on schedule. The 200 stranded passengers were given two choices. A refund, or return to Kuala Lumpur, by ferry and bus.
Flight RN180 was supposed to take off at 11.10 am. Some passengers thought they could return to KLIA, by Rayani’s evening flight, but that flight, was also cancelled. Why?
The grounding of the Rayani flight is nothing new. Planes fail to take off occasionally, but the various, conflicting explanations, for Rayani’s cancellation, were most regrettable. Once doubt is introduced in people’s minds, it is difficult to fully regain their confidence.
First. A Rayani Air representative, who wished to remain anonymous, said that the problem was unidentified, but hinted that it was a technical hitch.
He said, “I was made to understand that the engineering division is still waiting for replacement parts, to fix the aircraft.”
Second. The airline’s CEO, Ravi Alagendrran, denied the earlier explanation. He said, “This is not due to some technical error or event. Our windshield in the cockpit was found to be shattered after yesterday’s night-stop flight. We are investigating this incident whether it is an act of sabotage or not.
“We will liaise with relevant authorities to deal with this. In the interim, we are trying all we could to make all our passengers who are stranded to leave Langkawi safe and sound.”
Alagendrran should have learnt from the gaffes which MAS, our ministers and the Department of Civil Aviation made, during the MH370 press conferences. There was inconsistency, contradictions and information which had not been verified. In the end, who do you believe? What do you believe?
Only the Rayani plane in Langkawi was affected; so why, stop Rayani’s evening flight, from KLIA?
The Rayani incident was confusing and damaging. One person said it was a technical issue, another denied this, and incredibly, mentioned possible sabotage.
Did Alagendrran say this so that passengers will be less likely to blame Rayani for poor maintenance or old equipment?
Sabotage raises the cancellation, to a higher plateau of alert. Alagendrran may not be aware, but he has spooked people.
An act of sabotage suggests security issues, both for the plane and for the airport. When was the broken windshield discovered? Are the perimeter fences secure? Was it an inside job or did someone gain access to the grounds and then, onto the plane?
Was the cockpit shattered from the inside, suggesting someone had access to the inside of the plane, or was the cockpit shattered from the outside. Had the plane flown into a flock of birds, and the crack on the windshield, not been noticed? Had the windshield been replaced recently, but was improperly done?
Some people have suggested, that the plane is old.
Passengers value reliability and safety, but sabotage suggests that someone, or some organisation, wants to harm Rayani. Is the Rayani CEO suggesting rivals in the industry, or is this a personal issue?
A shattered windshield is visible. What if the act of sabotage was hidden, or more difficult to spot? Rayani’s CEO should have ascertained the facts first, before scaring people into thinking about possible sabotage. – The Ant Daily