Private search for MH370 to end next week

Private search for MH370 to end next week
Photo credit: Reuters

The search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 by a private US firm will end next Tuesday and there will be no more extensions, Malaysia's transport minister says.

Houston-based Ocean Infinity has been searching for the aircraft that disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board including six Australians, in one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries.

"This morning I raised this in cabinet and agreed to extend to May 29," Anthony Loke told reporters on Wednesday.

Asked if that meant no more extensions, he said: "Yes."

Mr Loke said the 90-day search deal with Ocean Infinity was due to end in April but was extended twice until May 29 following the firm's request.

"There will be no more extensions. It cannot continue forever. Let's wait until May 29 and we will then decide how to proceed," he told The Associated Press.

The Ocean Infinity search comes after Australia, China and Malaysia ended a fruitless $A200 million search across a 120,000 square-kilometre area in the Indian Ocean last year, despite investigators calling for the target area to be extended 25,000 square kilometres north.

The official search was extremely difficult because no transmissions were received from the aircraft after its first 38 minutes of flight. Systems designed to automatically transmit the flight's position failed to work, according to a final report issued in January 2017 by the Australian Transport Safety Board.

Voice 370, which represents families of those aboard the flight, urged the Malaysian government to review all matters related to the jet's disappearance including "any possible falsification" or elimination of maintenance records and any omission that may have impaired tracking, search, rescue and recovery of the plane.

Reuters