On 8 March 2014, the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft registered as Malaysia Airlines 9M-MRO and operating as flight MH370 (MH370) disappeared from air traffic control radar after taking off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on a scheduled passenger service to Beijing, China with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board.
After analysis of satellite data it was discovered that MH370 continued to fly for over six hours after contact was lost. All the available data indicates the aircraft entered the sea close to a long but narrow arc of the southern Indian Ocean.
On 31 March 2014, following an extensive sea and air search, the Malaysian Government accepted the Australian Government’s offer to take the lead in the search and recovery operation in the southern Indian Ocean in support of the Malaysian accident investigation.
On behalf of Australia, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) coordinated and led the search operations for MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean.
At a meeting of Ministers from Malaysia, Australia and the People’s Republic of China held on 22 July 2016, it was agreed that should the aircraft not be located in the current search area, and in the absence of credible new evidence leading to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, the search would be suspended upon completion of the current search area.
As such, the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 was suspended on 17 January 2017.