New Search Area Proposed for MH370
Malaysia said on Tuesday that it has not abandoned hope of finding missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and that it remains to be seen how a new report by investigators could help locate the aircraft.
The plane vanished during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board.
Investigators searching for the missing plane recommended on Tuesday that the search area be extended by 25,000 square kilometers (9,650 square miles). Australia - one of three search countries along with Malaysia and China - rejected the recommendation, citing a lack of "credible evidence" to extend the search.
The report is a result of a review meeting held in Canberra last month attended by experts from around the globe. On the basis of extensive new drift analysis, it was concluded that the plane would almost certainly not be found in the current area. Instead it will likely be found in a much smaller area to the north-east.
Malaysia, Australia and China agreed in July that the $160 million search will be suspended once the current area has been searched unless new evidence emerges. Australian Transport Minister Darren Chester has suggested that an extension of the search based on the latest analysis is unlikely, because the report does not give a specific location for the missing aircraft.
In a statement, Malaysia said it remains to be seen how the report by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau can be used to help identify the aircraft's specific location.
"I wish to reiterate that the aspiration to locate MH370 has not been abandoned and every decision made has and will always be in the spirit of cooperation among the three nations," Malaysian transport minister Liow Tiong Lai said.
The report is available here.