The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is not quite over, the company leading the mission has said, despite the Malaysian government stating on Monday that it had ended.
U.S. exploration firm Ocean Infinity was contracted for a three-month search for the Boeing 777 on a "no find, no fee basis", which is set to end in the coming days after finding no sign of the wreckage.
After pressure from the families of the victims, the former Malaysian government struck a deal with Ocean Infinity to restart the search in January on the condition it would only be paid if the Boeing 777 or its flight data recorders, or black boxes, were found.
"We have come to a stage where we can not keep searching for something we can not find", Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told reporters Wednesday.
The Malaysia Airlines plane vanished with 239 people on board in March 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
Transport Minister, Anthony Loke said it was in line with Malaysia's contract terms with the Texas-based firm, which ceased on May 29.
During the course of its operation, Ocean Infinity searched and collected high quality data from over 112,000 square kilometers of ocean floor.
Malaysia is no longer bound by any agreement with Ocean Infinity in the search of MH370.
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Transport Minister Anthony Loke said later Wednesday that the global safety investigation team is expected to finalize and release its final report on the case by July.
"I would firstly like to extend the thoughts of everyone at Ocean Infinity to the families of those who have lost loved ones on MH370", said Ocean Infinity CEO Oliver Plunkett.
"What we are trying to do is to use the last two days that we have in the north area", Antelme said. It is therefore with a heavy heart that we end our current search without having achieved that aim.
A privately funded underwater search for the missing jet ended on Tuesday.
The biggest mystery in aviation history remains unsolved.
He also expressed that Ocean Infinity would like to continue searching for MH370 in the future.
A previous A$200-million ($159 million) search by Australia, China and Malaysia across a 120,000 square-kilometer (46,332 square mile) expanse of the Indian Ocean a year ago was also fruitless.
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