Malaysia signs $70m deal to find MH370 aircraft

MH370: High-tech best chance to find missing Malaysia Airlines flight off WA coast

The families of those on board missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have welcomed the deal struck between the Malaysian government and USA firm Ocean Infinity to resume an underwater search for the plane that went missing almost four years ago.

The plane was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it disappeared over the Indian Ocean in March 2014.

The two parties sealed the "no cure, no fee" deal wherein the USA firm will scour a new search area covering 25,000 square kilometers in the southern Indian Ocean beginning mid-January.

The company will be paid $20 million if the plane is found within 5,000 square kilometers, $30 million if its found within 10,000 square kilometers, and $50 million within a 25,000 square kilometer area.

Picture: Balloons with the name of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 seen during a memorial event.

"While I am hopeful of a successful search, I'm conscious of not raising hopes for the loved ones of those on board", Darren Chester, Australia's Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, said in a statement in October. Last month the former US pilot, who has assisted the US National Transportation Safety Board on air-crash investigations, reiterated his conviction that the pilot ditched MH370.

The ship that will conduct the hunt is a Norwegian research vessel named Seabed Constructor, which is carrying 65 crew members and set off from South Africa in early January for the search zone.




Other items include memory from avionics and personal electronic devices and specific parts of the aircraft structure.

Ocean Infinity, specialising in collecting high resolution geophysical seabed data, confirms that its proposal to continue the search for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has been accepted by the Government of Malaysia. Authorities have identified the 25,000 square kilometer area as the wreck's most likely resting place before they abandoned their attempts a year ago. Search operations concentrated in the southern Indian Ocean, but the aircraft was not found.

The agreement was signed by the Malaysian government and Ocean Infinity CEO Oliver Plunkett at a ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, reported CNN.

The payment will be borne by the Malaysian government.

There was an 85 percent chance of locating the debris in the new area, Lai said on Wednesday.

Authorities believe MH370 crashed after running out of fuel over the Indian Ocean off the coast of Australia.

Australia, China, and Malaysia ended a fruitless $200 million search nearly a year ago after 1,046 days of hunting. The Indian Ocean is up to 8,040 metres deep.

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