Australia abandons search for lost Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

Emma Haslett
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The plane disappeared in March 2014 over the southern Indian Ocean (Source: Getty)

Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) said today that in the absence of any fresh leads, it will abandon the underwater search for lost Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

The search operation, in the southern Indian Ocean, was expanded from 60,000 to 120,000 square kilometres of the ocean floor in April, but has yet to yield any clues.

The announcement comes after more than a year of searching for the missing plane, which vanished without a trace en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board in March 2014.

"In the absence of credible new information that leads to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, governments have agreed that there will be no further expansion of the search area," said JACC yesterday.

At the beginning of this week it was feared as many as 6,000 jobs could be lost after Malaysia Airlines started a "hard reset" of its business, entering pre-pack administration.

The airline, which suffered two major air disasters last year - MH370 and MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine by suspected ground-to air missiles in July - said it was transitioning "selected assets and liabilities" to a new company, Malaysia Airlines Berhad, or MAB.

The airline sent its 20,000 employees a letter informing them they are likely to lose their jobs, although 14,000 positions were expected to remain after the restructure.

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