MH370: Malaysia agrees to extend search by two months

mh370 searchSUNGAI PETANI: Malaysia has accepted the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s (ATSB) request to continue the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 for another two months.

The Deputy Minister of Communications and Multimedia Jailani Johari, who is also the MH370 Search Mission Communications Committee Chairman, said the extension was necessary since the weather conditions in the area were not favourable to conduct any search activities now.

“Since the weather conditions in the identified search areas are not favourable, we had to agree to an extension of two months,” he told reporters after opening a ‘Current Issue Forum: Threat by Islamic State’ at Dewan Majlis Perbandaran Sungai Petani here yesterday.

Yesterday, foreign media had reported that the ATSB had decided to extend the search period for MH370 by another two months following the current bad weather conditions in the Indian Ocean.

Flight MH370 dropped off radar on March 8 as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board. The Boeing 777 aircraft has yet to be found, even after an exhaustive search in the southern Indian Ocean where it is believed to have gone down after veering off course.

After a multinational search for the missing aircraft in the southern Indian Ocean did not turn up anything, Malaysia, China and Australia agreed to continue the mission further south of the original search area.

Jailani said though the search had entered the third year, the government remains committed to continue the search and urged the next-of-kin of the MH370 victims to remain calm and have faith in the search team.

He said Malaysia was always in close contact with Australia and China to keep tabs on the latest developments.