New hope for MH370 next-of-kin on Ocean Infinity search mission

Malaysian govt appoints US-based exploration firm Ocean Infinity to hunt for Malaysia Airlines MH370 on no find, no fee basis

"As we speak, the vessel, Seabed Constructor, is now on her way to the search area, taking advantage of the favorable weather condition in the South Indian Ocean", said Lai, according to an official statement.

Ocean Infinity said in this week's statement that the vessel, which left the South African port of Durban on Tuesday, was taking advantage of favorable weather to move toward "the vicinity of the possible search zone".

Picture: Balloons with the name of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 seen during a memorial event.

Malaysia has said it will pay United States company Ocean Infinity up to 70 million dollars if it can find the wreckage or black boxes of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 within three months.

"We have on-board 65 crew including two officers from the Royal Malaysian Navy as the representatives of the Malaysian government", he added.

The payment terms are that $20 million will be paid if the wreckage and flight recorders are found within the first 5,000 sq km; $30 million within an additional 10,000 sq km; $50 million within a further 10,000 sq km and $70 million for search beyond 25,000 sq km.

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He said the MH370 response team will be headed by Civil Aviation director-general Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, along with officials from the ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry, and Communications and Multimedia Ministry.

CEO of Ocean Infinity Limited, Oliver Plunkett, right, speaks at a press conference during the MH370 missing plane search operations signing ceremony between the governement of Malaysia and the Ocean Infinity Limited in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. Now it's back to four years ago where we have to wait everyday (to find out) whether debris can be found, ' said Shin Kok Chau, whose wife Tan Ser Kuin was a flight attendant on MH370.

The submersibles or "autonomous underwater vehicles", as the firm call them, can cover 1,200 sq km a day and the entire 25,000 sq km within three to four weeks. If we don't find it within the said area, we can carry on looking for it within the agreed timeframe. The search had cost the Malaysian government $116 million.

Ocean Infinity had dispatched a research vessel earlier this month towards the expected search area.

The aircraft disappeared in March 2014 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people onboard.

No sign of the plane was found in the search zone selected by satellite analysis of the flight's projected trajectory.

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