• Sunday, Jun 26, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

Introducing Britain’s Bangladeshi-born ‘Halal Richard Branson’

  • Published at 05:54 pm June 13th, 2018
D2_Kazi Shafiqur Rahman Firnas Airways_13_6_18
Kazi Shafiqur Rahman stands proudly in front of his own aircraft Channel 4

From toilet cleaner to aspiring airline  

Bangladeshi-born Muslim Londoner Kazi Shafiqur Rahman, who calls himself “Halal Richard Branson”, has launched Britain’s first “Sharia-compliant” airline. 

Named Firnas Airways, the airline will operate in accordance with Islamic principles. 

For starters, no pork or alcohol is served on the flight, and any food served is fully halal. Moreover, flight attendants have strict dress codes that require women to wear modest uniforms. 

The absence of alcohol might deter many from his airline, as might the “Sharia-compliant” angle in light of the phrase’s standing with the Western world. 

However, Kazi remains optimistic and adheres to his dream as well as his principles. 

“There is a huge communication issue when it comes to Islam, Sharia, halal, and things,” said the 32-year-old practicing Muslim and father of one.

Kazi came to London in 1997 when he was only 11. After completing his GCSE, he got his first job – as a toilet cleaner at London City airport. 

Sometime later, he found his big break when he started a perfume company called Sunnamusk. As his business grew, so did his dreams, and for the last two and a half years, he has been thinking of starting his own airline. 

Kazi’s chief adviser, a seasoned aviation consultant named John Brayford, has been doubtful about Kazi’s business plan. 

“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,” he said.

Regardless of such challenges, Kazi is bent on realizing his dream – even in the face of hateful, Islamophobic internet trolls making comments about “kamikaze pilots” or stopovers in Islamic State territory.  

There is a handful of existing Sharia compliant airlines in the world, but Kazi's Firnas Airways will be Britain’s first.

His story has been told in a documentary called How to Start an Airline, which follows the Bangladeshi-born entrepreneur as he chases his dream of becoming an airline mogul.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail