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Malaysian resumes with MH370 search

20 October 2017

No timeframe for when the search will start was provided, and FlightGlobal was unable to obtain a comment from the Malaysian government on the Ocean Infinity deal.

Malaysia has chosen to negotiate terms with US-based seabed exploration firm Ocean Infinity to continue the search for the missing MH370 aircraft.

MH370 vanished three years ago en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur with 239 people aboard.

A massive maritime search operation for the plane cleared 120,000 sq km at an estimated cost of about $200m, before it was suspended in January.

"These offers have been thoroughly assessed by the team and the governments of Australia and China".

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Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said proposals were received from US -based seabed exploration firm Ocean Infinity, Dutch firm Fugro and an unidentified Malaysian company. Ocean Infinity has offered to search on a "no find, no fee" arrangement, according to Australian officials.

Ocean Infinity, which said in a statement that "good progress has been made" in negotiating the contract, claims it has the world's largest and most advanced commercial fleet of underwater vehicles for conducting searches.

Only three confirmed fragments of MH370 have been found, all of them on western Indian Ocean shores, including a two-metre wing part known as a flaperon. "It is nearly inconceivable and certainly societally unacceptable in the modern aviation era with 10 million passengers boarding commercial aircraft every day, for a large commercial aircraft to be missing and for the world not to know with certainty what became of the aircraft and those on board".

At the time it was suspended, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau released findings from global and CSIRO scientists which identified a smaller 25,000sq km area with "a high probability" that it contained the aircraft.

Australia's Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester confirmed to Australian Associated Press on Friday (20 October) that the agreement was in place and the Malaysian government has sought technical assistance from Australia.

Malaysian resumes with MH370 search