The hunt for missing flight MH370 is to end in two weeks, Malaysia's Transport Minister said. "We're at the final lap within these two weeks," the minister, Liow Tiong Lai said, reported AFP. "We hope we can find the plane."

Liow said that after the end of the 46,000 square-mile search, nations conducting the mission would hold a meeting to decide the next course of action.

The last search vessel embarked on its final sweep of the southern Indian Ocean in December.

The Malaysian Airlines jet disappeared after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on 8 March 2014, carrying 239 passengers and crew.

It is believed that the plane crashed into the Indian Ocean, however an Australia-led international search has not recovered a single piece of wreckage. The search operation, conducted by Australian, Chinese and Malaysian authorities, had previously agreed that the search should be called off by 2017 should no new evidence be uncovered.

However, some experts believe that the search has been focusing on the wrong area.

A total of 33 pieces of wreckage suspected to be from the plane have been found, including parts of wings and a tail, on the shores of Mauritius, the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion, Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa, Reuters has reported.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which has been leading the search mission, said in a report last month after reviewing expert evidence that the plane is almost certainly not in the current search zone and may be further north.

It recommended extending the search area by 9,650 sq-miles further north. However Australia said it did not view the findings of the report as credible. Relatives of victims, most of whom were from Malaysia, China and Australia, called on the search mission continue.

"Extending the search to the new area defined by experts is an inescapable duty owed to the flying public in the interest of aviation safety," it added.