A private hunt for Flight MH370 will end in the coming days, a search firm said on Tuesday, about four years after the plane’s disappearance sparked one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries.
The Malaysia Airlines jet vanished in March 2014 with 239 people — mostly from China — on board, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
No sign of the plane was found in a 120,000-sq km sea search zone and the Australian-led hunt, the largest in aviation history, was suspended in January last year.
After pressure from families, the former Malaysian government struck a deal with US exploration firm Ocean Infinity to restart the search in January on the condition it would only be paid if the Boeing 777 or its black boxes were found.
The firm stood to make up to $70 million if successful but did not find any sign of the airliner despite scouring the seabed with some of the world’s most high-tech search equipment.
The hunt was officially meant to end late April but was extended. However, the new government of Mahathir Mohamad, which came to power after a shock election win this month, announced last week the search was set to end.
The jet’s disappearance stands as one of the most enduring aviation mysteries of all time and has spawned a host of theories, with some blaming a hijacking or even a terror plot.