This undated handout photo
released by the Australia Transport Safety Bureau on July 20, 2016 shows
Malaysian and Australian investigators examining a piece of aircraft
debris found on Pemba Island off the coast of Tanzania. (Via AFP)
say they will suspend the search for the Malaysia Airlines passenger
Flight MH370, which has been missing since 2014, if the aircraft is not
found in the current search area.
Malaysia, China and Australia met in Malaysia’s capital of Kuala Lumpur
on Friday to discuss the future of the underwater search in one of the
world’s greatest aviation mysteries.
According to the statement
issued to the next of kin of the victims, the ministers had reached the
consensus that if the airliner is not discovered in the ongoing search
area, and with no new credible evidence on its whereabouts, the search
“would not end, but be suspended.”
The statement said that despite the best efforts put into the search, the likelihood of discovering the aircraft was fading.
Airlines ground staff walk past Malaysia Airlines aircraft parked on
the tarmac at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang,
Malaysia, June 20, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
MH370, with 239 people aboard, disappeared during a flight from Kuala
Lumpur to the Chinese capital of Beijing in March 2014.
$135 million has been spent on a massive search for the aircraft,
spanning 120,000 square kilometers in the southern Indian Ocean, the
most expensive in aviation history.
The search was originally scheduled to conclude in June, but has been hampered by bad weather.
the absence of new credible evidence, Malaysia, Australia and China
have collectively agreed to suspend the search upon completion of the
120,000-kilometer search,” said Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong
“I must emphasize that this does mean we are giving up on the search for MH370,” said, without elaborating.