A massive maritime search operation for the plane cleared 120,000 sq km at an estimated cost of about A$200 million ($157 million), before it was suspended in January.
The company has not revealed the estimated cost of the new search. According to Darren Chester, Ocean Infinity will focus on a 25,000 sq km area identified by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau as having a “high probability” of containing the aircraft.
Ocean Infinity is using a centuries-old model known in the salvage industry as “no cure-no pay” – a type of deal usually applied in the recovery of valuable sunken cargo.
Under such a deal, a salvage company will take on the financial risk of a recovery and recoup from the owner a percentage of the cargo’s value if it is found, often 80 or 90%.
MH370 was carrying passengers and crew from 14 different countries when it disappeared. Most were from China and Malaysia.
Australia led the initial search, after aviation officials identified the ocean floor off its coast as the likely location of the wreckage. The country has agreed to provide technical assistance for the new search, Darren Chester said.
Earlier this month, Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said the government had received proposals from three private search companies – Ocean Infinity, Dutch firm Fugro and an unidentified Malaysian company.
Delivering its report into the MH370 disappearance earlier this month, Australia’s Transport Safety Bureau said it was “almost inconceivable” that the aircraft had not been found.
The search for the Malaysian flight MH379 that vanished in March 2014 has been suspended after three years.
The families of the victims say the decision is “irresponsible”.
Family support group Voice370 said the search ought to be expanded – it was “an inescapable duty owed to the flying public”.
The plane vanished en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 on board.
More than 46,300 sq miles of the Indian Ocean has been searched with no results. Pieces of debris have been found as far away as Madagascar.
Only seven have been identified as definitely or highly likely to be from the Boeing 777.
There were 14 nationalities among the 227 passengers and 12 crew on board the plane. The majority – 153 people – were Chinese.
Announcing the suspension, Australia, Malaysia and China said “no new information has been discovered to determine the specific location of the aircraft” despite numerous studies.
They remained hopeful this would happen in the future.
However, Voice370 said the search must continue and be extended to include an area of some 25,000 sq km north of the current one, recommended by a report released by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau in December 2016.
“Stopping at this stage is nothing short of irresponsible, and betrays a shocking lack of faith in the data, tools and recommendations of an array of official experts assembled by the authorities themselves.”
A report in November 2016 said theM370 flight probably made a “high and increasing rate of descent” into the Indian Ocean.
Two plane parts found in Mozambique almost certainly came from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, the transport ministers of Australia and Malaysia say.
The two parts were found separately by members of the public and were flown to Australia for analysis.
Australia’s Darren Chester said the finds were “consistent with drift modeling” of ocean currents.
MH370 vanished in March 2014 with 239 people on board.
The plane went out of contact while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Satellite data suggests it likely went down in the southern Indian Ocean after veering off course for unknown reasons.
The fate of the plane, its passengers and crew remains one of aviation’s biggest unsolved mysteries.
One of the parts retrieved in Mozambique was found on a sandbank by an amateur US investigator in late February. That find prompted a South African tourist to come forward with a piece he found in Mozambique in December.
Darren Chester said the investigation team had finished examining the debris and found both were “consistent with panels from a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft”, the same make as the missing plane.
“The analysis has concluded the debris is almost certainly from MH370,” he said in a statement, adding that it showed that the vast deep-sea search for the plane in the southern Indian Ocean, being led by Australia, was focusing on the right place.
Malaysia’s Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai later told a news conference that paint samples from the debris indicated they were parts of the missing plane.
“First, the two pieces of debris belong to Boeing 777 parts. Secondly, from the paint and the stencils of these two pieces, it is similar to MAS [Malaysian Airlines] airlines paint. We conclude it is most certain [it] belongs to MH370,” he said.
The Australia-led search is scanning the sea floor, much of it previously unmapped, in the hope of locating the wreckage.
Darren Chester said that would continue for now, with 10,000 sq miles of ocean still be to covered.
However, the three countries have said that barring significant new evidence, they will end the operation once the area has been fully searched.
The MH370 search is expected to be completed in the coming months.
Meanwhile, officials are arranging to collect and examine a fourth piece of debris, found at Mossel Bay in South Africa’s southern coast on March 21 by a local archaeologist.
The piece apparently bears a part of the logo of Rolls Royce, the British company which manufactures engines for aircraft including the Boeing 777.
Malaysia says it is awaiting permission from South Africa to conduct a search of its coast for more debris.
Malaysia PM Najib Razak has announced that debris found on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion is to be transported to France to find out whether it is from the missing airliner MH370.
Initial reports suggest the 2-meter long wreckage is very likely to be from a Boeing 777, the prime minister said.
Malaysia Airlines’ flight MH370 is the only Boeing 777 to have disappeared over an ocean.
There were 239 people on board when the plane went missing in March 2014.
Razak Najib said French authorities were taking the debris to the southern French city of Toulouse – the site of the nearest office of the French body responsible for air accident investigations (the BEA) – to verify it as quickly as possible.
A Malaysian team of investigators and representatives from the government and the airline was travelling to Toulouse, and a second team to the site of the find on Reunion, the prime minister said.
Najib Razak said the location was “consistent with the drift analysis provided to the Malaysian investigation team”.
“As soon as we have more information or any verification we will make it public…
“I promise the families of those lost that whatever happens, we will not give up.”
Aviation experts who have studied photos of the debris found on Reunion on July 29 say it does resemble a flaperon – a moving part of the wing surface – from a Boeing 777.
On July 30, a municipal employee found what appeared to be a very badly damaged suitcase on the Reunion coast, according to local media.
The item was found at Saint-Andre, the same location as the earlier debris.
Reunion, a French overseas department, is about 370 miles east of Madagascar.
The search efforts for MH370, led by Australia, are focused on a broad expanse of the southern Indian Ocean – around 2,500 miles to the east of Reunion.
After MH370 disappeared from radar screens, experts analyzed data from faint “pings” the aircraft sent to satellites to narrow down its last known location.
It was this information that identified the search area in the southern Indian Ocean, west of Perth.
A spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry said: “We have noticed the reports and are wasting no time in obtaining and checking the information.”
More than half of those on board the missing plane were Chinese citizens.
A group of relatives of many of the Chinese passengers said in a statement that they wanted “100%” certainty about where the part is from, and that the search for the airliner should continue.
The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has resumed in the southern Indian Ocean.
A ship equipped with specialized sonar technology has arrived in a remote stretch of ocean where the plane is believed to have ended its flight.
The Boeing 777, with 239 people on board, went missing after it veered radically off course on March 8.
Its whereabouts are still unknown despite a massive international air-and-sea search operation.
Australian officials believe the plane was flying on autopilot when it crashed.
Using satellite data, officials have concluded that the airliner ended its journey in the Indian Ocean, north-west of the Australian city of Perth.
The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has resumed in the southern Indian Ocean
On October 6, a vessel contracted by Malaysia, the GO Phoenix, began its work in the seas about 1,100 miles off western Australia.
It will tow underwater sensors over the sea floor scanning for traces of jet fuel and using sonar and video to try to locate the plane.
The Phoenix will be joined later this month by two ships sent by Dutch contractor Fugro. The operation could last at least a year.
The head of Australia’s transport safety agency, which is leading the underwater search, said he was “cautiously optimistic” the next phase – jointly funded by Malaysia and Australia – would eventually locate the plane.
“Cautious because of all the technical and other challenges we’ve got, but optimistic because we’re confident in the analysis,” Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
“But it’s just a very big area that we’re looking at.”
The previous search was suspended four months ago to allow for detailed mapping of a 44,000 sq mile area of sea bed.
That survey uncovered previously unknown extinct volcanoes and depressions up to 1,400m deep.
The team searching for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has released detailed images of the seabed.
The new images reveal features such as extinct volcanoes and 1,400-metre depressions for the first time.
The collection of data from one of the most secret parts of the world is a by-product of the search.
Until now there were better maps of Mars than of this bit of the sea floor.
The Malaysia Airlines plane vanished without trace on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board.
Twenty-six countries have helped look for the Boeing 777, but nothing has ever been found.
The aircraft was flying from the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, to Beijing.
The new search images reveal features such as extinct volcanoes and 1,400-metre depressions for the first time
The team at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is leading the hunt for the plane, is using sonar to map the new “priority” search area, at the bottom of the Southern Indian Ocean.
After that they will deploy two or three deep sea vehicles to begin the painstaking, inch-by-inch seabed search for wreckage.
The “priority” area is based on the only piece of hard evidence investigators have, which is a series of brief, electronic “hellos” between the Boeing and a satellite.
It is the equivalent of your mobile phone buzzing next to a loud speaker because it is checking in with a ground station, even when you are not making a call.
However, those “hellos” don’t give an exact location, just a very rough idea, so the smaller, “priority” area is still 23,200 square miles – an area roughly the size of Croatia.
Making sonar maps is vital to ensure the team does not crash its deep-water vehicles into ridges and volcanoes. The equipment is pulled along just above the sea floor by a 10km-long armored cable.
Snagging that cable could damage the kit, or even cut it free, so the maps help them avoid any obstructions.
The deep sea search vehicles have sonar that can pick out odd lumps, cameras that can double check if that lump is wreckage or just a rock and an electronic nose that can smell aviation fuel in the water, even if it is heavily diluted.
The operation to find flight MH370 is the most complex search in history.
The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will focus on the southern part of the search area in the Indian Ocean, Australian officials say.
Officials said further refinement of satellite data found the plane may have turned south earlier than thought.
The announcement came as Australia and Malaysia signed an agreement on the search’s next phase, which will see the two countries sharing costs.
The Beijing-bound plane disappeared on March 8 with 239 people onboard.
Based on analysis of satellite data, it is believed to have ended its journey in seas far west of the Australian city of Perth.
Investigators do not know what happened to the flight and finding its “black box” flight recorders is seen as key to understanding the factors behind its disappearance.
The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will focus on the southern part of the search area in the Indian Ocean
Australia, which is responsible for search and rescue operations, has been looking for the plane in an area about 1,800km off its west coast.
The latest detail on the plane’s possible flight path came from an analysis of a failed attempted satellite phone call from Malaysia Airlines to the plane, said Australia’s Deputy PM Warren Truss.
“The search area remains the same, but some of the information that we now have suggests to us that areas a little further to the south… are of particular interest and priority,” he told reporters in Canberra.
A Dutch contractor, Fugro Survey, will kick off the next phase in the search in September. Three vessels towing underwater vehicles will scan for the plane.
The search will focus on an area of about 60,000 sq km and is estimated to cost about A$52 million ($49 million).
Malaysia’s Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai signed the memorandum of understanding with Warren Truss.
The two were also briefed on search efforts, together with China’s Transport Vice-Minister He Jianzhong.
Most of the passengers onboard MH370 flight were Chinese. The ministers issued a statement saying they “remain cautiously optimistic” that the plane will be found.
The hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 has entered the next phase.
Two vessels – the Fugro Equator and the Zhu Kezhen – are currently mapping an area covering 60,000 sq km.
Detailed information being gathered about the shape of the ocean floor west of Australia confirms the seabed in some locations to be extremely rugged.
This survey will guide a metre-by-metre search using towed instruments and submersibles.
This is likely to get under way towards the end of September.
The Australian authorities have warned that this could take a year to complete.
The Dutch-owned Fugro Equator and the Chinese naval vessel Zhu Kezhen are presently assembling a bathymetric (depth) map.
It covers the general location in the southern Indian Ocean where investigators believe MH370 is most likely to have come down.
The map is akin to a broad canvas – a first-ever proper look at a terrain about which there is the slimmest of knowledge.
It is essential work. Without this map, which has a resolution of roughly 25m in the deepest depths, it would not be safe to put down submersibles, as there is a high risk these vehicles would be lost.
The Fugro Equator is equipped with a state-of-the-art multibeam echosounder.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was lost on March 8, 2014, as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, carrying 239 people
The vast majority of the area it is covering has never been sampled before.
It has recorded depths near to 6,000m. Even the shallow regions are more than 1,000m down.
But it is the craggy nature of the seabed that will prompt extreme caution to be exercised in the next phase of operations.
Fugro has been contracted by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau to conduct this part of the search as well.
It will involve the Equator and another ship, the Fugro Discovery. Both ships will pull a deep-tow instrument very close to the sea floor using a 10,000m armored fiber-optic cable.
Echosounders are its ears; cameras represent its eyes; and a chemical sensor works like a nose.
This nose will “sniff” for the presence of any jet fuel in the water, down to a few parts per billion in concentration.
Assembling the bathymetric map has been a tough job in itself.
The Equator has had to contend with some terrible winter weather.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was lost on March 8, 2014, as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, carrying 239 people.
Its disappearance has become one the biggest mysteries in aviation history.
The best information investigators have for its whereabouts come for a series of brief satellite communications with the jet during its flight.
The last of these connections suggests MH370 crashed into the water inside the “high priority” search zone now being surveyed by the Dutch and Chinese vessels.