Bellew had said planes used for the Hajj would accommodate as many as 700 people in a single class -- modified from their current 494-seat layout with Malaysia Airlines' -- the densest configuration of any superjumbo.
Bellew also noted intense local competition, but strong international trends in China, India, Japan and Taiwan.
The company should be cash-positive in the second half of 2018, he said. Forward bookings from the international segment continue to be strong while those for domestic flights are slightly lower from a year ago because of intense competition, said Bellew.
The airline is focusing on business class and premium cabins as well as transporting passengers from other carriers to increase revenue, the executive said. China, India, Japan and Taiwan are its growth markets, and the airline will add more routes to these destinations over the next few years, he said.
The carrier needs six more aircraft next year and a similar number in 2019 to serve its busiest routes across Asia, Bellew said. Malaysia Airlines is studying leasing options and new purchases and will wait for a “good price” since it isn’t in a hurry, he said.