The latest underwater search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is likely to end by the middle of June, Malaysia’s civil aviation chief said ahead of the fourth anniversary of the aircraft’s disappearance.
Airwise.com reported that the Director General of Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation, Azharuddin Abdul Rahman,made this known when he was speaking at a memorial event for relatives of passengers and crew on MH370.
Flight MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014 with 239 passengers and crew onboard on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Investigators believe the plane was deliberately flown thousands of miles off course before crashing into the southern Indian Ocean off Australia.
A range of debris found along western Indian Ocean shorelines has been linked to MH370, including a flaperon positively identified as coming from the Boeing 777 operating the flight. Other objects have been found on and around the coast of Mozambique, and on Réunion.
An initial search of a 120,000 square-kms (46,300 sq. miles) area of the southern Indian Ocean was carried out on behalf of Australia, China and Malaysia, but was called off in January 2017 after nothing was found.
Malaysia launched a new search for the aircraft in January 2018, with US company Ocean Infinity employed to carry out the underwater search. The company will only receive payment if the aircraft is located.
The latest search will last about 90 days, not including refueling and supply visits to Perth in Western Australia.
As of February 28, 8,200 square km had been searched with no significant contacts identified to date, according to a Malaysian government update last week.