Despite all the efforts over the last 328 days, the search unfortunately has yet to yield the location of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
The plane, with 227 passengers, 2 flight crew and 10 cabin crew on board, was en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur when it went missing.
The Search and Rescue mission involved 160 assets inclusive of 65 aircraft and 95 vessels as well as experts from 25 countries. This unprecedented exercise involved aircraft and vessels from 13 different countries.
However, the Malaysian Authorities have now officially declared the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines aircraft an “accident” and the search for survivors has been called off.
“After 327 days (as of 28 Jan 15) and based on all available data as well as circumstances mentioned earlier, survivability in the defined area is highly unlikely.
“It is therefore, with the heaviest heart and deepest sorrow that, on behalf of the Government of Malaysia, we officially declare Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 an accident and that all 239 of the passengers and crew onboard MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives,” said Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia.
The underwater search is still ongoing at this time and the exercise is currently being performed by 4 vessels, namely the Go Phoenix, Fugro Discovery, Fugro Equator and Fugro Supporter. To date, the search has covered over 18,600 square kilometres.
“The Government of Malaysia assures that Malaysia Airlines will undertake their responsibilities in relation to the legitimate rights and interests of the next-of-kin as provided under the relevant international instruments and relevant domestic laws, with due consideration to international practice. This includes the fulfilment of the compensation process, whether it is pursued through consultation or through litigation. We further understand that Malaysia Airlines is ready to proceed immediately with the compensation process, with due regard for the readiness of the next-of-kin to take this step,” said Abdul Rahman.