World “Halal Richard Branson” Wants To Start UK’s First Sharia-Compliant Airline -

dunbrine47

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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6412648/britain-sharia-muslim-airline/
FLYING without alcohol may sound like a non-starter for most of us, but one bold entrepreneur is hoping that a total booze ban won't stop his brand-new airline from taking off.

Kazi Shafiqur Rahman, a man who calls himself the "halal Richard Branson", also wants modest dress for his female staff and Islamic in-flight meals as part of a bid launch Britain's first "Sharia-compliant" airline.


"Sharia compliance" means following a set of traditional Islamic rules for how to live your life, and it forbids Muslims from eating and drinking certain things, and dressing provocatively.

There are a handful of Sharia compliant airlines elsewhere in the world, but 32-year-old Kazi's Firnas Airways will be the first in Britain.

His story is now going to be told in How To Start An Airline, a new documentary following the Bangladeshi-born entrepreneur as he tries to get his small-fry company off the ground.

"There's a huge communication issue when it comes to Islam, Sharia, halal and things like this," Kazi, a practising Muslim and a dad of one, told Sun Online.


"But as an entrepreneur I feel passionate about it and it's also my faith.

"If I was going to do something then why would I do something I don't agree with or believe in?"


From loo cleaner to perfume guru
Kazi, a lovable if wide-eyed character from London's East End, came to Britain with his family in 1997, when he was just 11.

After leaving school with one GCSE, his first job was as a toilet cleaner at London City airport, and he's had his head in the clouds ever since.

"On the interview I turned up wearing a suit," he says in the documentary. "That's how serious I was about getting that job."

Kazi then found business success after launching perfume company Sunnamusk, but for the past two and a half years, he's been focused on his real dream: starting an airline.

Breaking into the airline business is a monumental challenge for anyone, but Kazi has no industry experience at all - and he's dead set on keeping to his religious morals.


Kazi's chief adviser, veteran aviation consultant John Brayford, has been concerned about the feasibility of Kazi's Sharia business plan from the start.

"If you look at the airlines around the world that don't serve alcohol, there's not one of them which can be considered successful," John says.

But Kazi was always reluctant to budge on his principles, even when he attracted a barrage of hateful online comments from Islamophobic trolls who made jibes about "kamikaze pilots" and making stopovers in Islamic State territory.

However, he has recently decided that his controversial Sharia angle has turned into a PR headache - so he's started to tone it down a bit while courting passengers and investors.


The entrepreneur told Sun Online: "When you say Sharia compliance, people will take it as Sharia enforcement, which isn't the case.

"But we're trying to position ourselves to Islamic investors. There's obviously the halal food and then modest dressing - I don't believe in exploiting women to get more business.

"There will be no alcohol but we will try to use substitutes."


A turbulent start
The under-experienced and overenthusiastic businessman dreams of flying long-haul to the Middle East, but first he needs to establish some short-haul routes to make a name for his airline and earn some money.

In the documentary, we follow Kazi as he opens negotiations to fly out of London's Ashford Airport and Waterford Airport in Ireland.

Normally, airlines pay airports a fee in return for being allowed to fly from them, but wheeler-dealer Kazi was audacious enough to demand that the airports should be paying Firnas.


With this unorthodox request, Kazi gets a firm "no" and negotiations collapse, forcing his ego to make an emergency landing.

But it turns out that Kazi, banking on his negotiations going well, had already signed a £60,000-a-month lease on a 72-seater turboprop plane, egged on by his consultant, fellow Bangladeshi Abdul Roqueb.


Money down the toilet
He may be used to cleaning toilets, but Kazi had never been in it that deep before.

The would-be airline boss was paying thousands for his plane to sit on the tarmac, with nowhere to fly it and his credibility in tatters.

Still haemorrhaging money, Kazi cancelled the lease on his pricey 72-seater and returned to the drawing board, where he decided that flying short commuter hops are his only hope if he wants to break into the notoriously change-averse airline business.

With nothing to show for two years' work, it was time to go plane shopping again - but this time Kazi had to dial down his enthusiasm, and act a bit less like a kid in a sweet shop.


On the show, we see him poking around a much smaller 19-seater Jetstream plane - a sturdy little craft but a world away from the long-haul Dreamliner Kazi wants to see in Firnas colours.

He's clearly underwhelmed by the tired-looking upholstery and creaking seats, and he knows that his hopes of flying to the Middle East couldn't be further away.

"That hole there," says Kazi to the plane's pilot and owner, as he inspects the wing. "Is that meant to be there?"

Raging at his team, Kazi adds: "This is not the plan. Every decision we make we have to go right back to the bottom. It's going on and on and costing me money every day."

But he has no choice. If he wants to start an airline, he has to start small - and in this business, the Jetstream, at a cost of £8,500 a month, is as small as it gets.


Today, it finally looks as if Firnas' first aircraft is ready to fly - and Kazi's journey from plane cleaner to plane owner is complete.

Kazi has raised around £500,000, money which will be used to lease planes and cover the many costs of getting set up.

His nifty little Jetstream plane has been painted in a fetching shade of Firnas purple, and is ready to be sent on short commuter runs between UK cities.

And despite the online backlash, Kazi is still committed to filling the gap in the market for an Islamic airline.

"It's about brand positioning - it's about being different and sticking out from the crowd," a chirpy Kazi tells us.

"We want to be a premium airline. Not your low-cost Easyjet or Ryanair."


Firnas is now just months away from operating its first commercial charter flights, as soon as all the regulatory hurdles have been cleared.

From then, Kazi estimates, long-haul flights should be just two or three years down the line.

"What we're doing will be a game changer," he insists.

It may well be, but don't hold your breath for that celebratory glass of bubbly when Firnas Airways finally does take off - you won't be allowed to drink it anyway.
REMOVE KEBAB AIRLINE.
 

Ravenor

Purge.
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Yea this won't happen, it's absurdly costly to open an airline even on a small tiny scale the amount of operating licences you need (yea insert stupid joke here, but it's a multinational thing), the cost of a small aircraft for longer distances, is absurd even on the preowned market of things for cargo let alone one with a passenger certification (that add's about 50% to the cost of said aircraft).

Landing fee's, take off fees, ground crew fees etc it all add's up, the only reason Branson was able to launch Virgin Atlantic was timing and him playing the long game and buying a lot of old TWA and BA aircraft when one went into liquidation and the other was contracting faster than an anorexics waistline.

And this is when I looked at the costs 4 years ago when a story about airline profitability came up.
 

Oh Long Johnson

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Aren’t there like several airlines that are operated by Muslims in Muslim countries? I get this guy is trying to operate in the UK area, but I imagine the high paying Gulf Mullahs who want Sharia compliant flights will still just take Qatari or Emirates to get around.
Yeah, because they serve booze.
 

Save the Loli

kiwifarms.net
Breaking into the airline business is a monumental challenge for anyone, but Kazi has no industry experience at all - and he's dead set on keeping to his religious morals.
Normally, airlines pay airports a fee in return for being allowed to fly from them, but wheeler-dealer Kazi was audacious enough to demand that the airports should be paying Firnas.


With this unorthodox request, Kazi gets a firm "no" and negotiations collapse, forcing his ego to make an emergency landing.
The would-be airline boss was paying thousands for his plane to sit on the tarmac, with nowhere to fly it and his credibility in tatters.
:story::story::story:

So this guy who has no relations to the air travel, airlines, or airports except for cleaning toilets at one somehow thought it was a good idea to demand airports pay him to have the privilege of having his airline use their airport? How did that possibly make sense in his mind? Did he demand the airports pay him or else he'd call ISIS, or did Allah tell him he'd work his :islamic: and all would be well? At this rate, he'll be back to cleaning toilets in no time.
 

melty

True & Honest Fan
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Given the target demographic, I see this endeavour crashing and burning. With any luck, it will never get off the ground.
It depends, if they create an ad campaign people will never forget they'll have a chance. Otherwise the whole thing is just going to collapse.
 
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Cosmos

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But Kazi was always reluctant to budge on his principles, even when he attracted a barrage of hateful online comments from Islamophobic trolls who made jibes about "kamikaze pilots" and making stopovers in Islamic State territory.
This thread:
The 9/11 jokes practically write themselves.
Given the target demographic, I see this endeavour crashing and burning. With any luck, it will never get off the ground.
"We love to fly into buildings and it shows."
Sharia airlines are just a fancy term for suicide booths.
:story:

Anyway, this business is gonna fail. Quite a few airlines already offer halal/kosher (since they're basically the same thing) meals and I'm pretty sure only diehard Muslim extremists refuse to ride in a plane that has alcohol onboard (most Muslims would just not drink any of the alcohol and it would be fine).
 
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