MH370, carrying 239 on board, went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, and has remained missing four years after the incidence.
After all efforts to locate the plane has given no results, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Wednesday that the time has come for Malaysia to stop the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, after a three-month search carried out by an America-based firm officially ended without making major progress.
“We have not found any evidence yet, so we have to come to a stage where we cannot keep searching for something we really cannot find,” Mahathir said at a news conference held after the weekly cabinet meeting.
He added that the new government will consider resuming the search if somebody can provide any information, but at the moment it must stop.
“We regret it very much, and we understand the feelings of the relatives, but we cannot keep on searching for this MH370 forever,” he said.
The search led by Ocean Infinity, which agreed to a “no cure, no fee” agreement, started in January and officially stopped on Tuesday.
The company, by deploying multiple autonomous underwater vehicles along with the search vessel Seabed Constructor, searched and collected high quality data from over 112,000 square km of ocean floor, successfully overcoming both challenging conditions and terrain, according to a statement released on Tuesday.
“Part of our motivation for renewing the search was to try to provide some answers to those affected. It is therefore with a heavy heart that we end our current search without having achieved that aim,” said Oliver Plunkett, Ocean Infinity’s CEO in the statement.
But it also left the possibility of restarting the search open.
“We sincerely hope that we will be able to again offer our services in the search for MH370 in future,” Plunkett said.