An iPhone app has been created to alert travelling Muslims when to pray, as well as in what direction to face, even during a flight.
The app uses the departure airport and time and the arrival airport and time to calculate prayer times and directions during a flight, its creators, Singapore company Crescentrating, said in a statement.
The information is pre-calculated and accessed in offline mode while in the air.
It also includes a collection of Islamic prayers and audio and allows users to set reminders for the in flight prayer times.
The app also provides links to websites with information on prayer facilities and halal food at hundreds of airports around the world.
The prayer calculator has been available on the company’s website for the past year but has now been developed for smart phones.
Crescentrating said the website had been used to calculator prayer times for thousands of flights.
“After a year of trialling our web based calculator we are now excited to release a beta version of the mobile app,” Crescentrating CEO Fazal Bahardeen said.
“There has been a lot feedback on the calculator and we have integrated those features on our mobile app. The mobile app will make it easier for Muslim travellers to make use of the calculator. “We are also planning to release the android version as well as bringing in new features in the next few months.”
Since the launch last year of Crescentrating’s web based Air Travel Prayer Time Calculator hosted on its website (www.crescentrating.com), it has been used to calculator prayer times for thousands of flights. With the availability of the mobile app, users will now be able to access prayer times and Qiblah direction while in-flight. Along with the feature which allows users to set reminders for the in flight prayer times, it will be much easier for Muslim travellers to plan their prayers while in-flight.
The app also provides links to get information on prayer facilities and halal food availability at the departure and arrival airports. Crescentrating’s website includes Muslim traveler guides for hundreds of cities around the world.
The company also operates a website that rates hotels according to Islamic requirements.
Crescentrating chief operating officer Dany Bolduc was quoted as saying Muslim travellers were the largest untapped market in the travel industry.
“It really isn’t catered to as well as it should be given the immense size and potential of this market,” Bolduc said.
Crescentrating estimates spending by Muslim tourists is growing faster than the global rate and is forecast to reach $192bn a year by 2020, up from $126bn in 2011.
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