Malaysia Airlines has dropped plans to retrofit its six Airbus A380s to a high-density seat configuration for pilgrimage flights.

In an email to FlightGlobal, the Oneworld carrier says the decision to stick to the current configuration comes as it believes that it represents "a product that is superior to other Umrah and Hajj operators".

Each of the widebody aircraft was slated to have around 700 all-economy seats, an increase of 204 from its current 496.

"The decision to currently stick to the configuration follows a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis coupled with a deeper understanding of our core customer segment on Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages, that tend to be more senior and elderly," adds Malaysia Airlines.

The carrier says that it will also continue to deploy the A380s during peak periods in this network. As such it says that having multiple seat configurations "may not be optimal".

Although former chief executive Peter Bellew said that the seat replacement procedures would be conducted by Airbus, Malaysia Airlines says no agreements were signed between the two parties.

"There were no signed agreements with Airbus; however, we constantly have discussions with them on the optimal solutions for the aircraft in view of changing market developments."

Source: Cirium Dashboard