Category Archives: Malaysia Airlines

Missing Malaysia Airlines remains the biggest aviation mystery of our time, Bluefin-21 fails to find anything so far

 

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Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) remains missing with all of its 239 passengers and crew members. It remains the biggest aviation mystery of our age. The underwater drone called “Bluefin-21″ has failed to find any remains of the presumed to have crashed airliner.

Here is an update on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 from CNN:

“The underwater drone scanning for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 finished its seventh mission Sunday (April 20), having covered about half its intended territory without finding any sign of the missing plane.

The Bluefin-21 drone started its eighth mission soon after the previous one ended Sunday morning, surveying the bottom of the southern Indian Ocean for traces of the Boeing 777.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Yesterday Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport issued this briefing:

Introductory Statement

I would like to begin this with a message.

On behalf of the Malaysian Government and specifically the MH370 SAR team, we would like to extend deepest sympathies and condolences to those on board the tragic incident involving the South Korea ferry that departed from Incheon planned for Jeju. We empathies and can imagine how difficult it can be for the families and the SAR team coping with the situation. All our thoughts and prayers are with them.

I will now continue with MH370.

We have now entered day 43 of the search operation for the MH370. It has been six weeks since we started the operation in which we have continuously refined the search area in the quest to locate the missing aircraft. We have pursued every possible lead presented to us at this stage and with every passing day, the search has become more difficult.

Search Updates

On Thursday, I spoke with Angus Houston and he has briefed me on the images captured from the Bluefin – 21 AUV. I can confirm that the Bluefin – 21 has captured clear and sharp images of the seabed while its search mission in the underwater search area. However, from all 6 missions conducted, no contacts of interest have been found to date. Bluefin – 21 AUV’s seventh missing has been commenced this morning.

From the images, Angus has also confirmed me that the terrain of the seabed is undulating and the Bluefin – 21 is focusing on the immediate search area based on the pings that have been detected. Some media reports have stated that it would take Bluefin -21 anywhere from six weeks to two months to scan the entire underwater search area. This is incorrect. The immediate search area that the Bluefin – 21 is now scouring should be completed within the next week.

As Prime Minister Abbott stated earlier this week, and I quote –

“We will regroup and reconsider the SAR operations, if there are no new updates in the given time” – end quote.

I have to stress that this is not ti stip operations but to also consider other approaches which may include widening the scope of the search and utilizing other assets that could be relevant in the search operation.

The search will always continue. It is just a matter of approach. All efforts will intensified for the next few days with regards to the underwater search.

I would also like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Malaysian government, to again thank Australia on narrowing the search area and doing all they can in the search for MH370.

Updates on Ministerial Committees

As I announced a few weeks ago, three ministerial committees have been established. They have been working tirelessly and I will now update you on their progress.

The next of kin committee, led by Hamzah Zainuddin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, is working closely with various Governments especially the countries whose nationals were on board MH370. From the meetings with the representative embassies and high commissions, various issues that needed urgent attention were addressed.

Hamzah has also discussed with his counterparts in Beijing and both sides have exchanged views and discussed ways and means to deal with the situation with regards to the families of those on board.

The technical committee, led by Aziz Kaprawi, Deputy Minister of Transport, has developed and drafted the proposed structure and Terms of Reference of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Team For MH370 in accordance with the Malaysian Civil Aviation Regulations 1996 (MCAR 1996) and Annex 13 – Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation, Chicago Convention.

The structure was developed after consulting the experts from the Air Accidents Investigation Brach, United Kingdom (AAIB), National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), United States, Australia Transportation Safety Board (ATSB) and Air Accident Investigation Department, China. The proposed team would comprise of local and international experts.

We have also spoken with the ASEAN secretariat on the possibility of appointing some of our counterparts to come on board. This is in accordance with the ASEAN Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation Relating to Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation that was signed in 2008.

The Asset Deployment committee has identified private companies that have the capabilities for deep water salvage and recovery work, and other national assets that can be deployed to support this operation. Local companies such as DEFTECH and Boustead have been tasked to discuss with their international collaborative partners such as SAAB, DCNS (Direction des Constructions Navales) and other to identify the relevant assets and instruments required for the search operation.

I have also been in consultations with Jean Paul Troadec given his experience in handling Air France 447 in deploying private commercial assets to assist in their search operations.

Concluding Remarks

As we move on to the next phase of the search, I am humbled that more friends from other nations have been expressed their willingness to assist and support our efforts to locate MH370.

Thank you.

 

 

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The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 switches to Bluefin 21

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370, remains missing. The search for MH 370 has been long and frustrating to everyone involved. The fate of Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) (above) and the 239 souls on board remains a true aviation mystery. It may remain the greatest mystery of our lifetimes.

A new oil slick has been discovered near where the four series of pings were located west of Australia in the Ocean Ocean. There has been no sign of any wreckage from 9M-MRO.

According to CNN, the search for MH 370 enters a new phase with the underwater vehicle Bluefin 21 taking center stage.

However Bluefin 21 faces plenty of challenges in finding the missing Triple Seven. This article explains how the side-scan sonar works on Bluefin 21.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO lands at the Kuala Lumpur base in the past.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Australian Angus Houston: “I’m now optimistic that we will find the aircraft, or what is left of the aircraft, in the not too distant future.”

AMSA Map 4.9.14

According to Reuters, Australian officials today (April 9) reported “two new “ping” signals” had been detected in the search for Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370, boosting confidence after more than a month of searching for the missing Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls on board.

According to Reuters, “The signals, which could be from the plane’s black box recorders, bring to four the number of overall “pings” detected in recent days within the search area by a U.S. Navy “Towed Pinger Locator”(TPL).”

Angus Houston, head of the Australian agency coordinating the search, said “I’m now optimistic that we will find the aircraft, or what is left of the aircraft, in the not too distant future.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

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The Joint Agency Coordination Centre today issued this statement:

Up to 11 military aircraft, four civil aircraft and 14 ships will assist in today’s search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Today AMSA has planned a search area of about 75,423 square kilometres.

The centre of the search area is approximately 2261 kilometres north west of Perth.

A weak front is moving in from the south east, expected to bring scattered showers.

The underwater search continues today, with ADV Ocean Shield at the northern end of the defined search area, and Chinese ship Haixun 01 and HMS Echo at the southern end.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau continues to refine the area where the aircraft entered the water based on continuing ground-breaking and multi-disciplinary technical analysis of satellite communication and aircraft performance, passed from the international air crash investigative team comprising analysts from Malaysia, the United States, the UK, China and Australia.

Top Map: AMSA. The top map shows today’s search area and also the location of the areas where the pings were heard by the Australian ship ADV Ocean Shield on April 6 and the Chinese ship Hai Xun on April 5.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bottom Map: AMS. A close-up map of the pinger locations found by ADV Ocean Shield.

AMSA Ocean Shield Pinger Map 4.9.14

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Video: From Malaysia Airlines:

 

MH 370 Update: Australian ship Ocean Shield using U.S. equipment finds a ping for two hours in the Indian Ocean

AMSA 4.7.14 Map

According to CNN, “Australia naval ship Ocean Shield hat’s towing a sophisticated U.S. pinger locator through an area about 1,750 kilometers (1,100 miles) northwest of Perth. The first detection lasted for more than two hours; a second lasted for about 13 minutes.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Map: AMSA. Areas being searched today.

Did Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370 purposely avoid Indonesian airspace?

AMSA Map 4.6.14

CNN is reporting the following today (April 6) concerning missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370:

“A senior Malaysian government source told CNN that Flight 370 flew around Indonesian airspace after it dropped off Malaysian military radar. The plane may have been intentionally taken along a route designed to avoid radar detection, the source said.

In the search for the plane in the Indian Ocean, a Chinese patrol ship Haixun 01 picked up two signals, one on Friday and another on Saturday, that were only 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) apart, authorities said.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

CNN Video:

If true, this would show intent by someone in the cockpit to avoid radar detention by avoiding flying over western Indonesia before heading south into the Indian Ocean.

Meanwhile search teams have shifted to new areas to search (see map above) adding more credence to the Chinese ping reports. A British ship with elaborate detection equipment is moving into the area detected by the Chinese.

Map: AMSA.

Chinese ship discovers a pulse signal in the southern Indian Ocean, is this missing flight MH 370?

AMSA MH 370 4.5.14 Search Map

According to CNN, “A Chinese patrol ship looking for signs of Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 in the southern Indian Ocean discovered Saturday a pulse signal with a frequency of 37.5 kHz, state news agency Xinhua reported.

“That is the standard beacon frequency” for both so-called black boxes — the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder, said Anish Patel, president of pinger manufacturer Dukane Seacom.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

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The Joint Agency Corrdination Centre of Australia issued this statement today:

Up to 10 military planes, three civil jets and 11 ships will assist in today’s search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Today ADV Ocean Shield and HMS Echo continue underwater search operations.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has determined a search area of about 217,000 square kilometres, 1700 kilometres north west of Perth.

Today’s search area will focus on three areas within the same vicinity.

The weather forecast for today’s search is fair, with possible showers in the search area.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau continues to refine the area where the aircraft entered the water based on continuing ground-breaking and multi-disciplinary technical analysis of satellite communication and aircraft performance, passed from the international air crash investigative team comprising analysts from Malaysia, the United States, the UK, China and Australia.

 

Malaysia Airlines today issued this statement:

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1. Introduction

It’s been almost a month since MH370 went missing.

The search operation has been difficult, challenging and complex.

In spite of all this, our determination remains undiminished.

We will continue the search with the same level of vigour and intensity.

We owe this to the families of those on board, and to the wider world.

We will continue to focus, with all our efforts, on finding the aircraft.

2. Investigation into MH370

As per the requirements set out by the ICAO in Annex 13 of the International Standards and Recommended Practices, Malaysia will continue to lead the investigation into MH370.

As per the ICAO standards, Malaysia will also appoint an independent ‘Investigator In Charge’ to lead an investigation team.

The investigation team will include three groups:

- an airworthiness group, to look at issues such as maintenance records, structures and systems;

- an operations group, to examine things such as flight recorders, operations and meteorology;

- and a medical and human factors group, to investigate issues such as psychology, pathology and survival factors.

The investigation team will also include accredited countries.

Malaysia has already asked Australia to be accredited to the investigation team, and they have accepted.

We will also include China, the United States, the United Kingdom and France as accredited representatives to the investigation team, along with other countries that we feel are in a position to help.

3. Formation of committees

In addition to the new investigation team mentioned above, the Government – in order to streamline and strengthen our on-going efforts – has established three ministerial committees.

Firstly, we have established a Next of Kin Committee. Hamzah Zainuddin, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, leads this committee.

This committee will oversee all aspects regarding the Next of Kin of those on board MH370, providing families with information on the search operation, and offering support after the search operation has been concluded.

The committee will co-ordinate with relevant foreign governments, and will complement the work already being done for the families by Malaysian Airlines.

The second committee oversees technicalities, specifically, the formation and the appointment of the investigation team. Abdul Aziz Kaprawi, the Deputy Minister of Transport, leads this committee.

The third committee takes over issues related to the deployment of assets for the search operation. Abdul Rahim Bakri, the Deputy Minister of Defence, leads this committee. This committee will work with foreign counterparts involved in the search operation, and liaise closely with the Australian Joint Agency Co-ordination Centre.

4. US-ASEAN Defence Forum

This morning, I returned from the US-ASEAN Defence Forum, which I attended in my capacity as Defence Minister.

At the forum, I updated our ASEAN counterparts, and the United States, on the latest developments in the search for MH370.

I also spoke to officials from other countries involved in the multi-national search operation.

The spirit of co-operation at the meeting, and the support offered, was commendable.

During my bilateral meeting with US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Secretary Hagel reiterated his commitment that the United States would continue to support the search operation, and will provide whatever assets are deemed necessary.

I thanked Secretary Hagel for the United States’ unwavering support, which has included both the deployment of naval and air assets, sophisticated underwater search equipment, and assistance from the FBI, the NTSB and the FAA.

At the Forum, I also received strong support from our ASEAN partners in the search for MH370.

I would like to read out the joint statement issued by the ASEAN Ministers, which I believe underscores the tremendous spirit of co-operation within ASEAN, in the face of this difficult search operation:

“We, the Defence Ministers of the member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations express our deepest sympathies to the family members of the passengers and crew on board the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

We acknowledge that the member nations of ASEAN have participated in the search operations directly and indirectly since the plane went missing on 8th March 2014.

From the South China Sea, the Andaman Sea to the Indian Ocean – ASEAN has continued to assist in every way possible, true to the spirit of regional cooperation and friendship without any hesitation in sharing of information, assets and expertise.

We believe that Malaysia has done its level best in its response to this unprecedented predicament given the sheer scale of the Search and Rescue (SAR) operation which is the biggest and most complex we have ever seen.

We reaffirm our commitment for greater cooperation between each member nationespecially in the field of disaster management under the framework of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response. This incident stressed upon us the importance of information and resource sharing as we strive to be in the utmost state of readiness in mitigating potential calamities and risks.

ASEAN’s unity will remain solid and is totally committed to assisting Malaysia in coordinating this massive SAR to locate MH370. We are resolute in finding a closure to this tragic chapter in aviation history. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families in these difficult times.”

5. Concluding remarks

Before I end, let me touch on some unfounded allegations made against Malaysia.

These allegations include the extraordinary assertion that Malaysian authorities were somehow complicit in what happened to MH370.

I should like to state, for the record, that these allegations are completely untrue.

As I have said before, the search for MH370 should be above politics.

And so I call on all Malaysians to unite; to stand by our armed forces as they work in difficult conditions, with their foreign counterparts, thousands of miles from home; and to support all those who are working tirelessly in the search for MH370.

Lastly, as I mentioned on Wednesday, while I was at the US-ASEAN Defence Forum, I spoke by telephone to the British Secretary of State for Defence, Phillip Hammond, regarding the nuclear-powered submarine HMS Tireless.

I hereby confirm that the submarine is now in the search area and helping in the search operation.

Map: AMSA.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Searchers shift their search to a new northern area, five aircraft spot new floating objects

AMSA Map 3.28.14

The search for Malaysian Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls on board has shifted to a new area in the Indian Ocean after new analysis of the data and the spotting of new objects by a Royal New Zealand Air Force Lockheed P-3 Orion in this new area. The new area is approximately 680 miles further north of the previous search area which did not yield any confirmed debris from flight MH 370. The new analysis is due to new computations that MH 370 could have been flying faster and may have run out of fuel earlier.

According to AMSA a total of five aircraft spotted objects today in the new area. A ship will be in the new area tomorrow.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

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The Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which is leading the search from Perth, Western Australia has issued this statement about the change:

[Date]

We would like to update you on some credible information AMSA has received from the ATSB which will see the search area refocused today.

The AMSA search for any sign of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has been shifted to an area north following advice from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

An international air crash investigation team in Malaysia provided updated advice to the ATSB, which has examined the information and determined an area 1100 kilometres to the north east of the existing search area is now the most credible lead as to where debris may be located.

The new search area is approximately 319,000 square kilometres, about 1850 kilometres west of Perth.

The Australian Geospatial-Intelligence Organisation (AGO) is re-tasking satellites to capture images of the new area.

Weather conditions are better in the revised area and ten aircraft have been tasked for today’s search.

They include two Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orions, a Japanese Coast Guard Gulfstream 5 jet, a Japanese P3 Orion, a Republic of Korea P3 Orion, a Republic of Korea C130 Hercules, a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion, a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force Ilyushin IL-76, a United States Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft, and one civil Australian jet acting as a communications relay.

Four of the ten aircraft are overhead the search area, with a further six planes to fly over the area today.

A further RAAF P3 Orion has been placed on standby at RAAF Base Pearce in WA to investigate any reported sightings.

Six ships are relocating to the new search area including HMAS Success and five Chinese ships.

Chinese Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) patrol ship, Haixun 01, is in the search area.

HMAS Success is expected to arrive in the search area late tomorrow night.

A US towed pinger locator and Bluefin-21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle have arrived in Perth to assist with location and recovery of the black box.

The depth of the water in the search area is between 2000 and 4000 metres.

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Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines issued this statement today:

Introductory statement

Today, the search for MH370 has been further refined. The international investigation team continue working to narrow the search area, and shed further light on MH370’s flight path.

We are, as always, grateful for the continuing co-operation of our partners in this difficult and intensive search.

Whilst search operations are on-going, we continue to focus our efforts on caring for the families. In Cabinet this morning, we discussed the importance of continuing to support the relatives of the passengers and crew.

1. Refined search area

On Monday, the Prime Minister announced that based on new data analysis, Inmarsat and the AAIB had concluded that MH370 flew along the southern corridor, and that its last position was in the middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.

On Tuesday, I confirmed that further study of this data would be undertaken to attempt to determine the final position of the aircraft. The Malaysian investigation team set up an international working group, comprising agencies with expertise in satellite communications and aircraft performance, to take this work forward.

The international working group included representatives from the UK, namely Inmarsat, AAIB, and Rolls Royce; from China, namely the CAAC and AAID; from the US, namely the NTSB, FAA, and Boeing; as well as the relevant Malaysian authorities.
The group has been working to refine the Inmarsat data, and to analyse it – together with other information, including radar data and aircraft performance assumptions – to narrow the search area.

Information which had already been examined by the investigation was re-examined in light of new evidence drawn from the Inmarsat data analysis.

In addition, international partners – who continue to process data in their home countries, as well as in the international working group – have further refined existing data. They have also come up with new technical information, for example on aircraft performance.

Yesterday, this process yielded new results, which indicated that MH370 flew at a higher speed than previously thought, which in turn means it used more fuel and could not travel as far. This information was passed to RCC Australia by the NTSB, to help further refine and narrow the search area.

The Australian authorities have indicated that they have shifted the search area approximately 1,100 kilometres to the north east. Because of ocean drift, this new search area could still be consistent with the potential objects identified by various satellite images over the past week.

This work is on-going, and we can expect further refinements. As the Australian authorities indicated this morning, this is standard practice in a search operation. It is a process of continually refining data which in turn further narrows the search area. With each step, we get closer to understanding MH370’s flight path.

Searches must be conducted on the best information available at the time. In the search for MH370, we have consistently followed the evidence, and acted on credible leads. Our search and rescue efforts have been directed by verified and corroborated information. This latest refinement of the search area is no different.

2. Satellite images

Last night, Japanese authorities announced they had satellite images which showed a number of floating objects approximately 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth. Early this morning we received separate satellite imagery from the Thai authorities which also showed potential objects.

These new satellite images join those released by Australia, China, France, and Malaysia, all of which are with RCC Australia. The range of potential objects, and the difficulty in re-identifying them shows just how complex this investigation is. We remain grateful to all our partners for continuing to assist in the search operations.

3. Concluding remarks

The new search area, approximately 1,680 kilometres west of Perth, remains in the Australian area of responsibility.

Australia continues to lead the search efforts in this new area, and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority gave a comprehensive operational update earlier today. As more information emerges, they will be issuing frequent operational updates, including on assets deployed.

I would like to echo their statements that the new search area, although more focused than before, remains considerable; and that the search conditions, although easier than before, remain challenging.

For the families of those on board, we pray that further processing of data, and further progress in the search itself, brings us closer to finding MH370.

Map: AMSA. The new search area (in green) is 1,850 kilometers (1,155 miles) directly west of Perth .

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Thai satellite spots debris area of around 300 objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean, bad weather hampers the search

AMSA Map 3.27.14 (AMSA)(LR)

A Thai satellite image has discovered a new debris field in the southern Indian Ocean containing around 300 floating objects. In addition, a Japanese satellite has captured about 10 flaring objects, all in the approximate area that French satellite images highlighted with yesterday’s report. However rough seas, high winds and icing have grounded the aircraft searching the area. However ships in the area continue to search for any debris from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

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The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which is directing the search in the Indian Ocean from Perth issued this statement today:

[Date]

Today’s search and recovery operation in the Australian Search and Rescue Region for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is now underway.

Search activities today will involve a total of 11 aircraft and five ships.

Today’s search is split into two areas within the same proximity covering a cumulative 78,000 square kilometres.

Two Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orions, a Chinese Ilyushin IL-76, a Japanese Gulfstream jet, a US Navy P-8 Poseidon and a Japanese P-3 Orion will fly sorties throughout the day.

The first aircraft to leave Perth for the search area was the Chinese Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft around 8am. The two RAAF AP-3C Orions are scheduled to depart before midday.

Five civil aircraft are scheduled to depart between 9.30am and 11am. A total of 34 SES volunteers will again be air observers on board the civil aircraft.

A Japan Coast Guard ultra-long range jet will depart at around 2pm.

A US Navy P8 Poseidon is scheduled to depart around 4pm.

A Japanese P3 Orion is scheduled to depart around 5pm.

HMAS Success remains in the search area about 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth and was joined by four Chinese ships – Xue Long, Kunlunshan, Haikou and Qiandaohu – in the search area.

Weather in the search area is expected to deteriorate later today.

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Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines issued this statement today:

1. Chinese Special Envoy

a. Yesterday, His Excellency Zhang Yesui, the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy of the Government of China, met with the Prime Minister and Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin, the Acting Minister of Transport and the Minister of Defence.

b. Following the meeting with Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin, His Excellency Zhang Yesui also received a comprehensive technical briefing by the international working group, led by the AAIB. Inmarsat’s findings – which led to the conclusion that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean – were explained during the meeting.

c. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) and Aircraft Accident Investigation Department (AAID) of the CAAC were present at yesterday’s technical briefing. The CAAC and AAID have been, and will continue to be, members of the international working group.

d. Today His Excellency Zhang Yesui also met with the Chinese relatives of those on board MH370 who are currently in KL.

e. Malaysia is committed to working closely with the Government of China and to sharing all information related to MH370 in full.

2. Family briefing in Beijing

a. Yesterday, the Malaysian high-level team met with the Chinese relatives of those on board MH370 who are based in Beijing, for the fourth time. Over the duration of the three hour meeting, the relatives received a technical briefing and an update on the search operation. The high-level team also answered questions. Today, the high-level team met relatives again, at 3:25pm Malaysia time. The meeting is still underway.

b. Malaysia is working hard to try and make the briefings to the Chinese relatives in Beijing more productive. Malaysian officials met with His Excellency Huang Huikang, China’s Ambassador to Malaysia, to request the Government of China to engage and clarify the actual situation to the affected families in particular and the Chinese public in general.

3. Operational update

a. The planned area of search today was 16,298 square nautical miles in the West sector, and 6,506 square nautical miles in the East sector.

b. The area identified by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) yesterday – where the 122 potential objects were sighted – was also due to be searched today.

c. Today, nine planes travelled to the search area – five in the East sector and four in the West sector. In the East sector, searches by air were conducted by:

- two Australian civilian aircraft.

- one Chinese Ilyushin IL-76.

- one New Zealand civil aircraft.

- one Japanese Gulfstream.

In the West sector, searches by air were conducted by:

-two Australian P-3 Orions.

-two Australian civil aircraft.

d. Today six ships were deployed in the search area – one in the East sector and five in

the West sector.

In the East sector, searches by ship were conducted by:

-one Chinese ship (the Xue Long).

In the West sector, searches by ship were conducted by:

-four Chinese ships (the Kunlunshan, Haikou, Qiandaohui, and Zhonghaishaohua).

-one Australian ship (the HMAS Success).

e. One Chinese ship (the Hai Xun) is expected to arrive in the search area tonight.

f. Today the weather deteriorated in the search area and search operations were suspended at 11:40am.

4. Malaysian team going to Perth

a. Malaysia is in the process of sending a team, comprised of the DCA, MAS, the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Air Force, to Perth. This team will work closely with the Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre to assist with the search operation.

Map: AMSA.

 

Has missing flight MH 370 finally been located? French satellite shows a new large debris field of 122 shiny objects

AMSA Indian Ocean Search Map 3.26.14

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls may have finally been located (subject to on-site ship confirmation).

According to CNN, “Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) received new satellite images from France that were taken on March 23. The images showed 122 potential objects in one area of the Indian Ocean. Some of the objects were as much as 23 meters in length. Some appeared bright, possibly indicating solid material. They were located about 2,500 kilometers from Perth. “This is another new lead that will help direct the search operation,” said Acting Minister of Transportation Hishammuddin Bin Hussein on Wednesday.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has issued this update for today (March 26):

Today’s search for any signs of the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft in the Australian Search and Rescue Region is now underway.

A total of six countries are now assisting in the search and recovery operation – Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.

A total of seven military and five civil aircraft will be involved in today’s search activities. One Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft from China departed Perth around 8am for the search area.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion aircraft NZ P-3K2 departed for the search area around 9.10am.

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) P3 Orion is scheduled to depart Perth around 11am. A US Navy P8 Poseidon is due to depart around 2pm.
A Japanese P3 Orion is due to depart Perth around 3pm.
A second RAAF P3 Orion is scheduled to depart for the search area around 4pm.

A Republic of Korea P3 Orion is due to depart around 5pm.

Two civil aircraft have now departed Perth for the search area. The remaining three civil aircraft will depart for the search area between 10am and midday.

A total of 34 State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers from Western Australia will be air observers on board the five civil aircraft.

HMAS Success and China’s polar supply ship Xue Long are now in the search area.

 

Malaysia Airlines just issued this statement:

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Introductory statement:
The search for MH370 continues. Our efforts are now focused in the southern Indian Ocean, where a multi-national team, led by Australia, is combing the waters trying to find debris from the flight.
Our determination to find MH370 remains steadfast. As we have said all along, we will never give up trying to find the plane – in order to bring closure for the families, and to establish exactly what happened to MH370.

1. New satellite images:
Australia, China and France have already released satellite images, showing objects that may be related to MH370.
Yesterday, on 25 March, the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA) received new satellite images from Airbus Defence and Space, which is based in France. The images were taken on 23 March.
MRSA analysed the images and – in one area of the ocean measuring some 400 square kilometres – were able to identify 122 potential objects.
Some objects were a metre in length; others were as much as 23 metres in length. Some of the objects appeared to be bright, possibly indicating solid materials.
The objects were located approximately 2,557 kilometres from Perth. We will issue handouts relating to this new information, after this press conference.
MRSA’s findings were immediately forwarded to the Australian Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Perth yesterday. It must be emphasized that we cannot tell whether the potential objects are from MH370. Nevertheless, this is another new lead that will help direct the search operation.
We have now had four separate satellite leads, from Australia, China and France, showing possible debris. It is now imperative that we link the debris to MH370. This will enable us to further reduce the search area, and locate more debris from the plane.
2. Operational update:
Australia is leading the search effort in the southern Indian Ocean, based out of Perth. Malaysia continues to play a co-ordinating role. All countries involved are displaying unprecedented levels of co-operation; that has not changed. Australia has divided the search area into two sectors, East and West.

Today the weather has improved, and twelve planes will travel to the search area – six in the East sector and six in the West.
In the East sector, searches will be conducted by:

- one Australian P3 Orion, and three Australian civilian aircraft.

- one Chinese Ilyushin IL-76.

- one New Zealand P3 Orion.
In the West sector, searches will be conducted by:

- one US P8 Poseidon.
- one Korean P3 Orion.

- one Japanese P3 Orion.

- two Australian P3 Orions, and one civilian aircraft.
Two ships will also join the search operations.
Yesterday ‘HMAS Success’ was redeployed to the south of the search area due to bad weather. Today the ship has returned and will support the search operation in the West sector. Meanwhile, the Chinese ship ‘Xue Long’ has today been deployed to the East sector.
A Japanese Coast Guard gulfstream aircraft left Subang this morning for Perth, to join the search operation.
As I mentioned yesterday, the search operations in the northern corridor, and in the northern part of the southern corridor, have been called off. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sent diplomatic notes to all relevant countries to formally inform them of this change.
Before I continue, I would like to convey our appreciation to the Australian authorities, and in particular to Prime Minister Tony Abbot, for making such an extraordinary contribution to the search operation.

 

3. Chinese Special Envoy
Today, the Prime Minister met with His Excellency Zhang Yesui, the Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy of the Government of China. I also met with His Excellency this afternoon.
During our conversation His Excellency conveyed China’s commitment to continue and intensify the search operation in any way possible, and to deploy any assets that may be required.
Malaysia has provided his His Excellency and his delegation with a full update on the latest information from Inmarsat.
His Excellency and his delegation also received a comprehensive briefing from the international technical team.

4. International Working Group
As I mentioned yesterday, based on the new information provided by Inmarsat, we have established an international working group. The agencies involved in this working group include: Inmarsat, AAIB, the Chinese CAAC and AAID, NTSB, FAA, Boeing and Rolls Royce, as well as the relevant Malaysian authorities.
The role of the working group is to help try and refine the Inmarsat data and, if possible, more accurately determine the final position of MH370.

5. Further information
I should like to note that the CEO of Malindo Airlines, Chandran Rama Murthy, has joined me on stage today, and will be able to answer any questions that you might have.

As I announced yesterday, MAS is now taking a lead in communicating with the families and is conducting their own press conferences. MAS will hold another press conference tomorrow.
Concluding remarks
New satellite images continue to provide clues in the search for MH370. And with improved weather conditions, aircraft are now able to investigate objects of interest.
I would like to thank once again our international partners for their continued support and assistance. The search for MH370, and the investigation into what happened on board the flight, is now a truly international effort.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Bad weather and rough seas disrupts the search for debris from Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370

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Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls on board remains lost somewhere in the remote south Indian Ocean. So far, no confirmed debris has been located from the missing flight.

According to Reuters, “bad weather and rough seas today (March 25) forced the suspension of the search for any wreckage of the missing Malaysian jetliner that officials are now sure crashed in the remote Indian Ocean with the loss of all 239 people on board.”

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which is leading the search from Perth, Western Australia, issued this map and statement today:

AMSA Search Areas for MH 370 3.25.14 (AMSA)

 

A search and recovery operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft in the southern Indian Ocean will resume on Wednesday, March 25.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott confirmed on Tuesday the focus is now on search and recovery of any objects related to the ill-fated Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.

A visual search will resume tomorrow when the weather is expected to improve after gale force winds and heavy swells resulted in the suspension of the search operation on Tuesday.

As many as twelve aircraft are expected to be involved in the search tomorrow, including seven military aircraft and five civil aircraft.

HMAS Success will return to the search area and conduct a surface sweep of an area identified on Monday afternoon by a Royal Australian Air Force P3 Orion as the location for several objects of interest.

A total of six countries are now assisting in the search – Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea.

India has also offered to join the search and recovery operation.

China’s polar supply ship Xue Long (Snow Dragon) and three other Chinese ships are expected to arrive in the search area on Wednesday.

 

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines today issued this statement:

By: Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof, Chairman of Malaysia Airlines

As you will be aware, last night the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak, announced new evidence regarding the disappearance of MH370 on March 8.

Based on this evidence, the Prime Minister’s message was that we must accept the painful reality that the aircraft is now lost and that none of the passengers or crew on board survived.

This is a sad and tragic day for all of us at Malaysia Airlines. While not entirely unexpected after an intensive multi-national search across a 2.24 million square mile area, this news is clearly devastating for the families of those on board. They have waited for over two weeks for even the smallest hope of positive news about their loved ones.

This has been an unprecedented event requiring an unprecedented response. The investigation still underway may yet prove to be even longer and more complex than it has been since March 8. But we will continue to support the families – as we have done throughout. And to support the authorities as the search for definitive answers continues. I will now ask our Group Chief Executive¸ Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, to provide you will with fuller details of our support for the families.

By: Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, Group Chief Executive Officer, Malaysia Airlines

I stand before you today not only as the Group Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines, but also as a parent, as a brother, as a son. My heart breaks to think of the unimaginable pain suffered by all the families. There are no words which can ease that pain. Everyone in the Malaysia Airlines family is praying for the 239 souls on MH370 and for their loved ones on this dark day. We extend our prayers and sincere condolences.

We all feel enormous sorrow and pain. Sorrow that all those who boarded Flight MH370 on Saturday 8th March, will not see their families again. And that those families will now have to live on without those they love. It must be remembered too that 13 of our own colleagues and fellow Malaysians were also on board.

And let me be very clear on the events of yesterday evening. Our sole and only motivation last night was to ensure that in the incredibly short amount of time available to us, the families heard the tragic news before the world did. Wherever humanly possible, we did so in person with the families or by telephone, using SMS only as an additional means of ensuring fully that the nearly 1,000 family members heard the news from us and not from the media.

Ever since the disappearance of Flight MH370 Malaysia Airlines’ focus has been to comfort and support the families of those involved and support the multi-national search effort. We will continue to do this, while we also continue to support the work of the investigating authorities in the Southern Indian Ocean.

Like everyone else, we are waiting for news from those authorities. We know that while there have been an increasing number of apparent leads, definitive identification of any piece of debris is still missing. It is impossible to predict how long this will take. But after 17 days, the announcement made last night and shared with the families is the reality which we must now accept. When Malaysia Airlines receives approval from the investigating authorities, arrangements will be made to bring the families to the recovery areas if they so wish. Until that time, we will continue to support the ongoing investigation. And may I express my thanks to the Government and all of those involved in this truly global search effort.

In the meantime, Malaysia Airlines’ overwhelming focus will be the same as it has been from the outset – to provide the families with a comprehensive support program. Through a network of over 700 dedicated caregivers, the loved ones of those on board have been provided with two dedicated caregivers for each family, providing care, support and counsel. We are now supporting over 900 people under this programme and in the last 72 hours, we have trained an additional 40 caregivers to ensure the families have access to round-the-clock support.

In addition, hotel accommodation for up to five family members per passenger, transportation, meals and others expenses have been provided since March 8 and that will continue.

Malaysia Airlines has already provided initial financial assistance of $5,000 per passenger to the next of kin. We recognize that financial support is not the only consideration. But the prolonged search is naturally placing financial strain on the relatives. We are therefore preparing to offer additional payments as the search continues.

This unprecedented event in aviation history has made the past 18 days the greatest challenge to face our entire team at Malaysia Airlines. I have been humbled by the hard work, dedication, heartfelt messages of concern and offers of support from our remarkable team. We do not know why, and we do not know how this terrible tragedy happened. But as the Malaysia Airlines family, we are all praying for the passengers and crew of Flight MH370.

Copyright Photo and Map: AMSA.

 

Malaysia Prime Minister: MH 370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean

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Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak announced a few minutes ago Inmarsat has further analyzed the radar data and concluded missing flight MH 370 “ended in the southern Indian Ocean”.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

The search areas in the Indian Ocean from CNN: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile the debris spotted earlier by Chinese and Australian aircraft have not yet been identified.

Malaysia Airlines just issued this statement:

Note: The communication below was shared with the family members of passengers and crew of MH370

Malaysia Airlines deeply regrets that we have to assume that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean. As you will hear in the next hour from Malaysia’s Prime Minister, new analysis of satellite data suggests the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean.

On behalf of all of us at Malaysia Airlines and all Malaysians, our prayers go out to all the loved ones of the 226 passengers and of our 13 friends and colleagues at this enormously painful time.

We know there are no words that we or anyone else can say which can ease your pain. We will continue to provide assistance and support to you, as we have done since MH370 first disappeared in the early hours of March 8, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

The ongoing multinational search operation will continue, as we seek answers to the questions which remain. Alongside the search for MH370, there is an intensive investigation, which we hope will also provide answers.

We would like to assure you that Malaysia Airlines will continue to give you our full support throughout the difficult weeks and months ahead.

Once again, we humbly offer our sincere thoughts, prayers and condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy.

Earlier today Malaysia Airlines issued this statement:

Introductory statement 

The search for MH370 continues. Over the past few days, new leads from satellite data have focused our search and rescue operations in the southern corridor. Our partners continue to deploy assets to assist us, as we work to narrow the search areas.

1.    Operational update

Yesterday, 18,500 square nautical miles were searched in the Australian search area.

Two orange objects approximately one metre in length and one white coloured drum were sighted by search aircraft, but remain unidentified and have not been conclusively linked to MH370.

HMAS Success detected two radar targets within the search area, but could not locate the targets on further investigation of the area.

Earlier today, a Chinese search plane reportedly sighted objects in the Australian search area. These objects are not in the vicinity of those which were identified by the Australian authorities last week.

A few minutes ago the Prime Minister received a call from the Prime Minister of Australia, who informed him that an Australian search aircraft had located two objects in the Australian search area, one circular and one rectangular.

HMAS Success is in the vicinity and it is possible that the objects could be received within the next few hours, or by tomorrow morning at the latest.

Three search areas, totalling approximately 20,000 square nautical miles,  have been identified for operations today. RCC Australia anticipates that 10 aircraft will be used.

HMAS Success remains the only vessel in the search area. A number of Chinese vessels are expected to commence arriving within the search area on 25th March.

3 aircraft – 2 from Japan and 1 from the UAE – have already departed from Subang today and are en route to the southern corridor.

6 Malaysian ships, with 3 ship-borne helicopters, are now in northern part of the southern corridor. 10 Chinese ships are in the southern corridor, carrying out search and rescue operations. HMS Echo is currently refuelling in the Maldives and will be sailing to the southern corridor this evening.

In the northern corridor, Turkmenistan have confirmed they have not had any sightings of MH370 on their radar. Each piece of information we receive from our partners in the northern corridor helps us to continuously narrow the corridor.

1.    Satellite images

New leads into MH370’s possible location have come from satellite data. This was one of the four tools we identified that could narrow the search area, along with surveillance radar data, increasing surface and air assets, and bringing in more technical experts.

The most recent images were obtained by French satellites, which captured radar images of potential objects in the vicinity of the southern corridor on 21st March. These images were received by Malaysia on the evening of the 22nd March, and were relayed to RCC Australia on the morning of the 23rd March, as they are leading the search in that particular area of the southern corridor.

This morning we have received a further set of images from French satellites, this time captured by cameras. These images were taken yesterday and have been relayed to RCC Australia.

2.    Family briefings

Yesterday, the high-level team met with families in Beijing for more than eight hours.

The families asked many questions, and made detailed requests for radar readings and other data. Some of these questions could not be answered, and some of the data they requested was still being held by the investigation, as is standard procedure in investigations of this sort.

After meeting with the families for a total of more than twelve hours, and taking hundreds of questions, the high-level team has returned to Kuala Lumpur to discuss the matters raised at the meetings. They will return to Beijing tomorrow to continue.

The briefings in Kuala Lumpur over the last two days went smoothly,  and the families responded as positively as could be expected, with the families engaging with representatives from the relevant authorities.

It has always been our intention to keep the families as fully informed as possible. We continue to do so.

3.    Specific questions

There are a few specific questions I would like to respond to.

On the police investigation, we can confirm that the police have interviewed more than a hundred people, including families of both the pilot and co-pilot.

As far as the transcript is concerned, the technical committee is considering releasing it and we will keep you informed about the decision.

The Inspector General of the Police will attend tomorrow’s press conference to answer further questions on the investigation.

We can also confirm that MH370 was carrying wooden pallets. However, there is as yet no evidence that these are related to the wooden pallets reportedly sighted in the Australian search area.

4.    Concluding remarks

The search for MH370 has taken us halfway around the world. At the moment there are new leads, but nothing conclusive. Our thoughts continue to be with the families who are still waiting for news. In the meantime, we are grateful for the on-going co-operation shown by our partners in this multinational search.

Chinese Il-76 spots “suspicious objects” in the southern Indian Ocean today

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A Chinese Ilyushin Il-76 search aircraft has spotted “suspicious objects” in the southern Indian Ocean today (March 24) according to Reuters, quoting a Xinhua news agency report. The crew spotted two “relatively big” floating objects and several smaller white ones dispersed over several kilometers, Xinhua reported. The object could be from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 with missing Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (man 28420) and its passengers.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

In addition and Australian aircraft has also spotted additional debris.

According to CNN, “military radar tracking shows that the aircraft changed altitude after making a sharp turn over the South China Sea as it headed toward the Strait of Malacca, a source close to the investigation into the missing flight told CNN. The plane flew as low as 12,000 feet at some point before it disappeared from radar, according to the source.”

This would suggest a possible massive decompression or fire on board and the crew was trying to get back to land and a lower altitude.

Read the full report from CNN: CLICK HERE

Some missing airliners are never found. In June 1960, Northwest Airlines flight 2501 vanished over Lake Michigan. It has never been found:

The loss of flight MH 370 has been a struggle for the state-owned flag carrier. The presumed crash will also have a financial toll for the carrier. The airline has been struggling to be profitable. Bloomberg Businessweek discusses the financial health of the airline.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Forbes: Boeing 777 controls cannot be hacked: Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Finally Malaysia Airlines has issued this short statement and a video from its CEO Ahmad Jauhari:

As the search and rescue mission of flight MH 370 continues to prove to be an uphill battle, Malaysia Airlines has not wavered in our efforts to offer compassion and support. Throughout this entire period Malaysia Airlines has provided complete cooperation to the SAR team. However, our priority has always been the well being of the family members of our passengers and the crew on board.

Video:

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

French satellite spots potential debris from missing flight MH 370

According to Reuters, “new French satellite images show possible debris from a missing Malaysian airliner deep in the southern Indian Ocean, Malaysia said Sunday (March 23), adding to growing signs that the plane may have gone down in remote seas off Australia.”

According to the Malaysian authorities:

“This morning, Malaysia received new satellite images from the French authorities showing potential objects in the vicinity of the southern corridor,” the Malaysian Transport Ministry said in a statement. “Malaysia immediately relayed these images to the Australian rescue co-ordination center.”

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Therefore the remote southern Indian Ocean area (around 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Western Australia) is the most likely resting place for missing Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (man 28420) (above) with its missing passengers and crew members.

However no confirmed debris has been found from the missing Boeing 777 9M-MRO. The southern Indian Ocean is one of the most remote spots in the world. If you wanted to get lost or disappear, this would be the area.

Here is the press briefing statement yesterday (March 22) of  Hishammuddin Hussein, Malaysia Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport:

Introductory statement

Diplomatic, logistical and technical efforts continue in the search for MH370. As we intensify the search and rescue operations, the overall emphasis remains the same: using all available means to narrow the search areas in both corridors.

1. Operational update

In the northern corridor, in response to diplomatic notes, we can confirm that China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Laos, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have verbally informed the search and rescue operation that based on preliminary analysis, there have been no sightings of the aircraft on their radar.

With respect to the southern corridor, today two Chinese Ilyushin IL-76s will arrive in Perth to begin operations. The Shaanxi Y-8 which arrived yesterday will be operating from Subang air base in Malaysia. China is also sending an additional two ships from the Andaman Sea to join the five Chinese ships already in the southern corridor. Two Indian aircraft, a P-8 Poseidon and C-130 Hercules, arrived in Malaysia at 18:00 last night to assist with the search.

HMS Echo is currently in the Persian Gulf and is en route to the southern corridor. The ship is equipped with advanced sensors that allow it to search effectively underwater.

2. Australian search area

Five aircraft and two merchant ships were involved in the search and rescue operations in the vicinity of the objects identified by the Australian authorities, which are approximately 2,500km southwest of Perth. Despite improved visual search conditions yesterday, there were no sightings of the objects of interest.

Operations continue, and today they plan to search an area of approximately 10,500 square nautical miles.

The Rescue Co-ordination Centre Australia anticipates that 6 aircraft, 4 military and 2 civilian, will be visually searching the area. Two merchant vessels will also be present during search operations, and HMAS Success was due to reach the search area at 14:30 today.

Generally, conditions in the southern corridor are very challenging. The ocean varies between 1,150 metres and 7,000 metres in depth. In the area where the possible objects were identified by the Australian authorities there are strong currents and rough seas.

A cyclone warning has been declared for Tropical Cyclone Gillian, which is located in the southern corridor. Very strong winds and rough seas are expected there today.

3. Family briefings

The briefing for families in KL yesterday went well. The briefing in Beijing, however, was less productive. Despite the best intentions, I understand there were tense scenes.

I have received a report from the Malaysian high-level team, as well as a copy of the declaration from the Chinese families. I have asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the authorities in China, to investigate what happened.

We will continue to engage with the families. We are working hard with Chinese authorities and the Chinese working group to create a more conducive environment for the briefings. I have instructed my technical team to do a review of both briefings so that we can improve them.

We appeal to all parties to be understanding during this extraordinary and difficult time. My pledge to all the families, wherever they are, is the same: we will do everything in our power to keep you informed.

4. Transcript

The original transcript of the conversation between MH370 and Malaysian air traffic control is with the investigations team, where it is being analysed.

As is standard practice in investigations of this sort, the transcript cannot be publicly released at this stage. I can however confirm that the transcript does not indicate anything abnormal.

5. Cargo manifest

On the matter of MH370’s cargo, the cargo manifest is with the investigations team, and will be released in due course.

Preliminary investigation of the cargo manifest has not shown any link to anything that might have contributed to MH370’s disappearance.

As was stated yesterday, all cargo carried on MH370 was in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organisation and International Air Transport Association standards.

6. Concluding remarks

Over the past two weeks, the search for MH370 has taken many twists and turns. From satellite images to eyewitness accounts, we have followed every lead and investigated every possibility.

Today we are focused on leads from the satellite images announced by the Australian authorities on Thursday. We continue to be updated by the Australian authorities on an hourly basis.

I know this rollercoaster has been incredibly hard for everyone, especially for the families. We hope and pray this difficult search will be resolved, and bring closure to those whose relatives were on board.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all 26 countries who are with us in this effort; from ordinary people to the highest levels of government.

I would also like to pay special tribute to the men and women from all countries who are putting themselves in harm’s way in the search for MH370.

As we speak, people are sailing through a cyclone to help find the missing plane. We are immensely grateful to all our partners for their efforts.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

China claims to have spotted a new large floating object on satellite images

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China, according to CNN,  has discovered “new satellite images showing a large object floating in the southern search area” of the Indian Ocean.

The object is 22 meters long and 30 meters wide, (72 feet by 98 feet), Hishammuddin Hussein announced. He told reporters he’s just gotten the information, and China will release more details in “coming hours.”

Unfortunately the Chinese satellite image is four days old!

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

The search for MH 370 debris has also been hampered by the ever-worsening ocean debris problem.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

It is now night time in Perth, Australia and the southern Indian Ocean.

So far no debris from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (man 28420) has been discovered and verified.

Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines addressed the issue of lithium batteries with this statement:

Malaysia Airlines wishes to clarify that the lithium ion batteries carried onboard MH370 on 8 March 2014 was in compliance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements where it is classified as Non Dangerous Goods.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Australia says possible Malaysia Airlines MH 370 debris may have sunk

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Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) has issued this latest statement today. Meanwhile Reuters is reporting Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said today (March 21) the floating objects spotted on satellite images in the remote southern Indian Ocean for Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 operated with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) may have sunk. The satellite images were taken on March 16 of two large floating pieces of debris approximately 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Western Australia. Here is the statement by the airline of the press briefing of Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport:

Introductory statement

Malaysia continues to work on the diplomatic, technical and logistical challenges involved in the search for MH370.

We are still awaiting information from the Australian search and rescue operation as to whether the objects shown in the satellite images released by Australia yesterday are indeed related to MH370.

In the meantime, we are continuing search and rescue operations in the rest of the southern and northern corridors. I will now give you a brief operational update.

1.    Operational update

Search efforts southwest of Perth continue, and the Australian authorities are intensifying their efforts in the area. HMAS Success is due to reach the vicinity of the objects tomorrow.

China has deployed 5 ships and 3 ship-borne helicopters, which are currently heading toward the southern corridor. 3 Chinese aircraft (2 Ilyushin IL-76s and 1 Shaanxi Y-8) arrived in Malaysia at 11:00 this morning. They will also be searching in the southern corridor.

Japan is deploying its assets to Perth, including 2 P-3 Orions, to assist with the Australian search efforts.

This morning I have spoken with the acting High Commissioner from the United Kingdom, who confirmed that the Prime Minister has spoken to the Prime Minister of the UK, and that HMS Echo is already heading towards the southern Indian Ocean to support the search effort. He also confirmed that the UK will be providing us with a list of possible assets that can be deployed if needed.

He also has reaffirmed that, in addition to the technical support provided so far, it stands ready to provide further specialist search and investigative assistance once more information about the fate of MH370 becomes known.

I have also been in touch with the French delegation, which is led by the French Ambassador to Malaysia, and includes the man who led the investigation into the Air France 447 crash. They have agreed to assist us with their considerable experience and expertise.

I will also be speaking to the US Secretary of Defence at 21:15 tonight, to request further specialist assets to help with the search and rescue efforts, including remotely-operated vehicles for deep ocean salvage.

The Kazakhstan authorities have assured us that they have found no trace of MH370, and we are awaiting permission for Kazakhstan to be used as a staging point for search operations.

On the police investigation, the Ukraine police have confirmed that the background checks on the Ukrainian passenger have come back clear.

2.    Satellite data processing

I would like to briefly discuss the processing of the Inmarsat data.

The investigations team received the complete raw Inmarsat satellite data which included the six handshakes at approximately 15:00 on Wednesday 12th March.

This type of data is not normally used in investigations of this sort. It is only because we have so little other information to go on in this difficult and unprecedented situation that the data is being used.

Upon receiving the raw data, the Malaysian authorities immediately discussed with the US team how this information might be used. The US team and the investigations team then sent the data to the US, where further processing was needed before it could be used.

Initial results were received on Thursday 13th March at approximately 13:30, but it was agreed by the US team and the investigations team that further refinement was needed, so the data was again sent back to the US.

The results were received at approximately 14:30 on Friday 14th March, and presented to the investigations team at a high-level meeting at 21:00 on Friday. The UK AAIB, who had also been processing this data independently, presented their results – which concurred with ours and those of the US team – at that meeting.

The Prime Minister was briefed on this satellite information at 08:00 Saturday 15th March, and publicly announced it at the press conference at Saturday lunchtime. Search and rescue operations were immediately shifted to the northern and southern corridor.

3.    Family care

Last night in Kuala Lumpur we held a briefing for the relatives of those on board MH370. As I mentioned in yesterday’s statement, the briefing was to update family members on the latest developments, and to answer questions and clear up any confusion.

The meeting was well attended by family members from different nations, including Malaysia, and by representatives from the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

A high-level Malaysian delegation, including representatives from Malaysia Airlines, the Department of Civil Aviation, the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Security Council also attended the meeting.

We had a very constructive and frank discussion. Although we answered most of the questions they raised, we could not answer them all. These briefings will continue – at the families’ convenience – for as long as the families want them.

The briefing brought the families and the Malaysian authorities closer together, not just in terms of sharing information, but also in terms of listening to the voice of the family members. The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China will be co-ordinating the briefings in Kuala Lumpur from now on.

The high-level team I announced yesterday arrived in Beijing last night. Today they met with family members for three and half hours.

 

Two objects are spotted floating in the Indian Ocean

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Two large objects have been spotted by satellite floating in the Indian Ocean around 1,500 miles southwest of Perth, Australia. It will take several days to confirm if they are from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370.

The Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is leading this search of the Indian Ocean.

Read the full story from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines issued this statement concerning the debris:

1.    Australian satellite images

At 10:00 this morning, the Prime Minister received a call from the Prime Minister of Australia, informing him that ‘two possible objects related to the search’ for MH370 had been identified in the Southern Indian Ocean. The Australian authorities in Kuala Lumpur have also briefed me on the situation, and the Australian Foreign Minister has spoken to the Foreign Minister of Malaysia.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) continues co-ordinating the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft within Australia’s search and rescue area, with assistance from the Australian Defence Force, the New Zealand Air Force, and the US Navy.

AMSA’s Rescue Co-ordination Centre (RCC) Australia has received satellite imagery of objects possibly related to the search for MH370.

RCC Australia received an expert assessment of commercial satellite imagery today. The images were captured by satellite. They may not be related to the aircraft.

The assessment of these images was provided by the Australian Geospatial Intelligence Organisation as a possible indication of debris southwest of Perth.

As a result of this information, four aircraft have been re-orientated to an area 2,500 kilometres southwest of Perth.

A Royal Australian Air Force P-3 Orion aircraft arrived in the area at about 10:50AM.

Another 3 aircraft have been tasked by RCC Australia to the area, including a second RAAF Orion, a Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion, and a US Navy P-8 Poseidon.

The Poseidon was expected to arrive early this afternoon. The second RAAF Orion was expected to depart RAAF Base Pearce, Perth, mid-afternoon. The New Zealand Orion was due to depart this afternoon.

An RAAF C-130 Hercules aircraft has been tasked by RCC Australia to drop datum marker buoys to assist in drift modelling. They will provide an on-going reference point if the task of relocating the objects becomes protracted.

A merchant ship that responded to a shipping broadcast issued by RCC Australia on Monday was also expected to arrive in the area this afternoon.

The Royal Australian Navy ship HMAS Success is en route to the area but is some days away. The ship is well equipped to recover any objects located and proven to be from MH370.

Every effort is being made to locate the objects seen in the satellite imagery. It must be stressed that these sightings, while credible, are still to be confirmed.

2.    Assets deployed

The search for MH370 is a multinational effort. I will now give you an update on the assets which have been deployed.

During the course of this operation, the Chief of the Defence Force has spoken to his counterparts from countries including:

•        Australia

•        China

•        India

•        Indonesia

•        Japan

•        Maldives

•        Nepal

•        New Zealand

•        Singapore

•        Thailand

•        Vietnam

•        The UK

•        And the USA.

All were very supportive, and all offered their assistance. As the focus of the search has moved from the South China Sea and Straits of Malacca to the northern and southern corridors, our international partners have continued to provide whatever support they can.

A number of assets have been deployed at different phases of the search and rescue operation.

Currently, there are 18 ships, 29 aircraft and 6 ship-borne helicopters deployed along the northern and southern corridors, as follows:

Aircraft

In the northern corridor, there are 4 aircraft:

•        2 from Malaysia

•        1 from Japan

•        And 1 from the US.

In the southern corridor, there are 25 aircraft:

•        2 from Malaysia

•        5 from Australia

•        3 from China

•        4 from Indonesia

•        2 from India

•        4 from Japan

•        1 from New Zealand

•        2 from South Korea

•        1 from the UAE

•        And 1 from the USA.

Ships

All 18 ships are in the southern corridor:

•        6 from Malaysia

•        1 from Australia

•        5 from China

•        And 6 from Indonesia.

This deployment includes 6 helicopters:

•        3 from Malaysia, and 3 from China.

Until we are certain that we have located MH370, search and rescue operations will continue in both corridors. I can confirm that Malaysia is sending 2 aircraft to Kazakhstan, and the UK is planning to send 1 ship to the southern corridor.

In addition to the assets I just listed above, a number of countries in the northern corridor are carrying out search and rescue operations within their own territory:

•        China is using every means possible, including 21 satellites, to search the area within its borders, and is ready to send more ships and aircraft wherever they are needed.

•        In Cambodia, 4 helicopters are conducting search operations within Cambodian territory.

•        The Laos Air Force is carrying out search operations within Laos.

•        Singapore are using their International Information Fusion Centre, where a Malaysian representative is stationed, to notify mariners and help with the search.

•        The Thai military are conducting search operations in the northern part of Thailand with all available aircraft.

•        And Vietnam are conducting search operations within their territory using an unspecified number of aircraft.

Together this represents a significant international force deployment. I am thankful for the co-operation of our partners as we continue to focus on finding MH370.

3.    Family care

The high-level team I announced yesterday is leaving for Beijing this evening.

I would also like to confirm that representatives from the Malaysian government spoke to the families who were present here yesterday.

In addition, the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China, and the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia, will lead a briefing today for the Chinese families who are here in Kuala Lumpur.

Also in attendance will be the Department of Civil Aviation, the Armed Forces, the Royal Malaysia Police, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and MAS. A similar briefing will also be held for the other families.

4.    Concluding remarks

For families around the world, the one piece of information they want most is the information we just don’t have: the location of MH370.

Our primary focus has always been to find the aircraft. And with every passing day, our efforts have intensified.

Yesterday I said that we wanted to reduce the area of the search. We now have a credible lead. There remains much work to be done to deploy the assets. This work will continue overnight.

 

 

Search Area:

Search Area Indian Ocean

Photo courtesy of AMSA:

Satellite imagery provided to Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) of objects that may be possible debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in a revised area 185 km (115 miles) to the south east of the original search area in this picture released by AMSA March 20, 2014. A Search aircraft are investigating two objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean off Australia that could be debris from a Malaysian jetliner missing for 12 days with 239 people on board, officials said on Thursday. REUTERS-Australian Maritime Safety Authority-Handout via REUTERS

Was missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 sighted in the Maldives?

Maldives Map

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 souls on board may have been sighted on the remote island island of Kuda Huvadhoo in the Maldives (south-southwest of Male). Islanders spotted a Jumbo Jet with a red stripe flying low over their island at 6:15 am local time on March 8. The distance from the last reported position of MH 370 to Kuda Huvadhoo is around 2,000 miles.

Read the full account from the International Business Times: CLICK HERE

Read another report from Sydney Morning Herald: CLICK HERE

Map Google Maps.

Meanwhile Malaysia Airlines has issued this 21st media statement:

The passengers and crew on-board flight MH 370, their families and loved ones, have been at the center of every action Malaysia Airlines has taken as a Company since we first learned the flight disappeared.

The Malaysian Government is coordinating an unprecedented international search effort covering 2.24 million square nautical miles. With this simply enormous area we cannot determine how long it will take to locate the aircraft.

Considering these challenges, our caregivers have informed the family members of the missing passengers and crew that we have taken the decision to continue to provide information and assistance through the further enhanced Family Support Centre (FSC) based in Kuala Lumpur which has been operational since March 8, 2014 rather than the various Family Assistance Centers (FACs).

The Family Support Centre will continue to proactively provide relatives waiting for news at home with daily updates. In addition to personal phone calls, Malaysia Airlines will now send out SMS blasts with brief updates to the families. We have also set up an email address for family members as a channel for them to communicate with us. Updates via the Malaysia Airlines website are also available.

This Family Support Centre will be open round-the-clock and will house family support representatives trained to assist those who are seeking answers and further information. The representatives will be divided into four shifts with ten staff handling each shift. This will ensure that someone is available to attend to the families at all times. The centre will also have Mandarin speaking personnel.

Below are the toll-free numbers that has been set-up for eight different countries. A back-up number is also given to the families in the event they are not able to reach the toll-free number. The number to call to get in touch with this centre is +603 8777 5770.

Countries            Toll-free number

China                    10-800-130-1364 (South China) / 10-800-713-1404 (North China)
Malaysia                 1800-81-4819
Indonesia               001-803-015-203-7708
Australia                1800-198-163
US/Canada             877-504-4210
New Zealand          080-045-4029
India                     000-800-100-3449
France                   080-091-2622

All this while, the families have always been briefed first, followed by the media and then the public whenever new information surfaces. However, the often conflicting information and wild speculation have caused a major distress to the families.

The Airline continues to work closely with the authorities and we appreciate the help we are receiving from all local and international agencies during this critical and traumatic period.

Our top priority remains to provide any and all assistance to the families of the passengers and crew.

Bloomberg Businessweek explores the question of whether Malaysia (the government and the airline) can restore its public image.

Read the article: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines (aircraft slide show): AG Slide Show

Malaysia rejects criticism of how it is handling missing Malaysia flight MH 370, Indonesian fishermen claim to have seen MH 370 crash in North Sumatra

Malaysia logo-1

Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein has rejected criticism, especially from the United States, that it is not sharing as much information about missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 as they can. Hussein “specifically defended coordination with the United States and China and said he had been in touch with his counterparts in both countries” according to Reuters.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile angry Chinese families are threatening a hunger strike until the Malaysian government tells them the truth according to Reuters.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) reported today it is reducing the area of its search area in the Indian Ocean to a 230,000 square mile corridor according to Reuters.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

The New York Times reported overnight on the absence of call phone calls from the passengers.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Flight MH 370 was turned to the west after a heading change was entered into the aircraft’s flight computer according to the New York Times. This would require a greater understanding of the aircraft’s systems.

Read the full report from New York Times reporter Matthew Wald: CLICK HERE

Read the full report from Time: CLICK HERE

According to CNN, the Thai Air Force reported “six minutes later (after the last communications from MH 370), the Thai military detected an unknown signal, a Royal Thai Air Force spokesman told CNN. This unknown aircraft, possibly Flight 370, was heading the opposite direction.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Malaysia says the evidence gathered so far suggests the plane was deliberately flown off course, turning west and traveling back over the Malay Peninsula and out into the Indian Ocean.

Finally Indonesian fishermen claim to have witnessed the crash of MH 370 in the North Sumatra provincial district of Pangkalan Susu (see map below) on March 8 according to philSTAR.com.

Read the full story: CLICK HERE

Bottom line: Until the aircraft is found, no ones knows for sure where flight MH 370 with 9M-MRO has gone.

North Sumatra, Indonesia Map

New Straits Times: MH 370 flew at or below 5,000 feet to avoid local radars

New Strait Times is now reporting a theory that the missing Malaysia Airlines MH 370 may have been flying at 5,000 feet (or below) possibly using “terrain masking” to avoid local radar over three countries citing local sources in Malaysia. If true, this would raise the aspect of a terrorist takeover once again.

However all countries in the area, including India and Pakistan, have stated there was no flight over their respective areas.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

In addition, Malaysia Airlines management now believes the first officer uttered the last words from the flight “All Right, Good Night”.

The government of Malaysia has now reversed the sequence of events saying the transponder was turned off AFTER the last words were uttered by the first officer. According to Reuters, here is the new timeline:

“0119: Someone in the cockpit says “All right, good night” to Malaysian air traffic control. They were the last words heard from Flight MH 370.

0121: The plane drops off air traffic control screens as its transponder – which responds to civilian radar – is switched off. The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam says the plane failed to check in as scheduled at 0121 with air traffic control in Ho Chi Minh City. Malaysian authorities believe that someone on board shut off the plane’s communications systems and turned it sharply to the west.

0215: Malaysian military radar plots Flight MH 370 at a point south of Phuket island in the Strait of Malacca, hundreds of miles west of its last known location.

0811: The last signal received from the plane, according to satellite tracking data.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Bottom line: no one knows for sure at this point what happened after those words were uttered.

Press Briefing by Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister of Defense and Acting Minister of Transport on missing flight MH 370

Malaysia logo-1

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) has issued this statement detailing the press briefing of Hishammudin Hussein, Minister of Defense and Acting Minister of Transport on missing flight MH 370 on March 16:

I know many of you have submitted questions, and I will try to answer some of those questions in my statement today (Sunday, March 16).

Every day brings new angles, especially as we are refocusing and expanding the search area – and as always, we have a responsibility to release only information that has been corroborated and verified.

We cannot respond to every request immediately, so I ask you to bear with us.

1. Search area

As the Prime Minister said yesterday (March 15), the operation has entered a new phase. The search was already a highly complex, multinational effort. It has now become even more difficult.

The search area has been significantly expanded. And the nature of the search has changed. From focusing mainly on shallow seas, we are now looking at large tracts of land, crossing 11 countries, as well as deep and remote oceans.

The number of countries involved in the search and rescue operation has increased from 14 to 25, which brings new challenges of co-ordination and diplomacy to the search effort.

This is a significant recalibration of the search. The search and rescue operation continues to be a multi-national effort, one led and co-ordinated by Malaysia.

In the last 24 hours, the Prime Minister has spoken to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, the President of Turkmenistan, the President of Kazakhstan and Prime Minister of India.

Yesterday (March 15) the Foreign Ministry of Malaysia briefed representatives from countries along the northern and southern corridors.

At 2 pm today (March 16), the Foreign Ministry of Malaysia briefed representatives from 22 countries, including those along the northern and southern search corridors, as well other countries that may be able to help. These include Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, China, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Australia.

Malaysian officials are requesting support from these countries – as well as others. This support includes general satellite data, radar playback – both primary and secondary – provisions for ground, sea and aerial search, and assets as appropriate.

We are currently discussing with all partners how best to deploy assets along the two search corridors. At this stage, both the northern and southern corridors are being treated with equal importance.

We are asking countries that have satellite assets, including the U.S., China and France amongst others, to provide further satellite data. And we are contacting additional countries who may be able to contribute specific assets relevant to the search and rescue operation. Surveillance aircraft are required, and maritime vessels are needed, particularly for the southern corridor.

2. Police investigation

As the Prime Minister said yesterday (March 15), up until the time the aircraft left military primary radar coverage, its movements were consistent with deliberate action by someone on the plane.

I cannot comment on speculative theories as to what might have caused the deviation from the original flight path, as I do not wish to prejudice the on-going investigation.

I understand the hunger for new details. But we do not want to jump to conclusions. Out of respect to the families, and the process itself, we must wait for the investigation to run its course.

The Malaysian authorities are refocusing their investigation on all crew and passengers on board MH 370, as well as all ground staff handling the aircraft.

Yesterday (March 15), officers from the Royal Malaysia Police visited the home of the pilot. They spoke to  family members of the pilot and experts are examining the pilot’s flight simulator. The police also visited the home of the co-pilot. According to Malaysia Airlines, the pilot and co-pilot did not ask to fly together on MH 370.

I would like to stress that Malaysia has been working with international law enforcement agencies since day one.

3. Aircraft maintenance

Malaysia Airlines has confirmed that the aircraft (9M-MRO) was subjected to the required maintenance program: the Boeing Maintenance Planning Document. Checks are done according to this program. The aircraft had been fully serviced and was fit to fly.

4. New involvement

The Inmarsat team arrived yesterday (March 15) and will support the investigations team, which includes the Malaysian authorities, and the U.K. and U.S. teams.

5. Concluding remarks

I would like to conclude by reiterating that the search for MH 370 has entered a new phase.

The information released yesterday (March 15) has provided new leads, and given new direction to the search process.

We will provide more detail on the redeployment of assets when it becomes available. Facts must be corroborated and verified before being released.

When possible, we will keep the media fully briefed, but our priority remains the search and rescue operation. To that end, we have been engaged in diplomatic and investigative efforts over the past 24 hours.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370 went into the southern Indian Ocean, it’s a lonely place, was the captain politically motivated?

MH 370 in southern Indian Ocean

Investigators are now looking at the possibility that Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 made either a north turn or a south turn once it was in the middle of the Indian Ocean. The satellite data revealed by Prime Minister Najib suggests the airliner could be anywhere in either of two arcs: one stretching from northern Thailand to the border of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, or a southern arc heading from Indonesia to the vast southern Indian Ocean. If the missing flight with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) and 239 souls on board took a turn to the south it could have not picked a more desolate spot on earth except for the polar regions.

According to this article by Reuters, a plane could crash in this area without a ship spotting it or even radar picking it up. In short, it is a lonely place.

So far no trace of missing flight MH 370 has been found. Searchers are now switching to the Indian Ocean but it is a vast area and will be a daunting task. The aircraft could have flown another 2,200 miles after it was last spotted off the northwest coast of Malaysia. That leaves a lot of ocean territory (see map above) to search.

According to Reuters in the article, “The southern Indian Ocean, between Indonesia and Australia, is broken up only by the Australian territories of Christmas Island, home to asylum seeker detention facilities, and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands some 2,000 km (1,240 miles) northwest of Perth. The Cocos Islands have a small airport to serve the islands’ combined population of just 3,000 people.

Further south, the only habitation is the handful of research stations on the scattering of tiny French-run islands including Kerguelen – a group of volcanic outcrops between Africa, Australia and Antarctica. While home to several powerful astronomical scanners and radar, there is no airport and it is seen extremely unlikely the aircraft could have made it that far.”

In summary, MH 370 may never be found and could become the biggest aviation mystery in history. Let’s hope there is some closure for the grieving families.

Read the full article: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile investigators are also searching for a motive and an answer to the large “why?”. Investigators are investigating the backgrounds of the pilots, crew members and passengers on board missing flight MH 370.

Was this disappearance meant to embarrass the ruling government of Malaysia which has not done a good job of handling this crisis?

Reuters reports the captain (who had a simulator in his home) had postings on his Facebook page suggesting the pilot was a political opponent of the ruling Malaysian government coalition that has ruled Malaysia for the past 57 years since independence.

Read the full article from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Timeline of events: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines issued this 19th media statement late yesterday:

Further to the statement by the Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak earlier today into the ongoing search for Flight MH 370, Malaysia Airlines has shared all available information with the relevant authorities since the moment we learned that the aircraft had disappeared, in the early hours of Saturday 8th March. This includes the very first indications that MH370 may have remained airborne for several hours after contact was lost, which the Prime Minister referred to today.

This is truly an unprecedented situation, for Malaysia Airlines and for the entire aviation industry. There has never been a case in which information gleaned from satellite signals alone could potentially be used to identify the location of a missing commercial airliner. Given the nature of the situation and its extreme sensitivity, it was critical that the raw satellite signals were verified and analysed by the relevant authorities so that their significance could be properly understood. This naturally took some time, during which we were unable to publicly confirm their existence.

We were well aware of the ongoing media speculation during this period, and its effect on the families of those on board. Their anguish and distress increases with each passing day, with each fresh rumour, and with each false or misleading media report. Our absolute priority at all times has been to support the authorities leading the multinational search for MH370, so that we can finally provide the answers which the families and the wider community are waiting for.

We remain absolutely committed to sharing confirmed information with family members and the wider public in a fully open and transparent manner. However given the nature of the situation, the importance of validating new information before it is released into the public domain is paramount.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of the 227 passengers and our 12 Malaysia Airlines colleagues and friends on board flight MH 370. They will remain at the center of every action we take as a company, as they have been since MH 370 first disappeared.

Today the airline issued this short statement:

The current general enquiry number +60378841234 for the MH 370 incident will change effective Monday, 17 March 2014 at 12.00 noon.

Moving forward, families of passengers and crew of MH 370 may call +603-87775770. This is a dedicated number for families only.

For media queries, kindly contact +603 8777 5698/ +603 8787 1276.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the passengers and our colleagues on board MH 370 as well as their families and loved ones.

Malaysia Prime Minister says flight MH 370 left its planned route due to “deliberate action”

Malaysia logo-1

Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia announced today (March 15) that Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 left its planned route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing a week ago as the result of a “deliberate action” by someone on board the aircraft according to the New York Times.

According to the Times, “That conclusion was based on a final signal from the plane picked up on satellite at 8:11 a.m. on March 8, nearly seven hours after ground control lost contact with the jet”.

Read the full report from the New York Times: CLICK HERE

Read the analysis from CNN: CLICK HERE

The search area is again being expanded for the lost Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) that was operated on flight MH 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing over a week ago.

The homes of the pilots are now being searched.

The Prime Minister also reported someone in the cockpit said “OK, good night” to Air Traffic Control (ATC) AFTER the transponder and ACARS was turned off! This would show intent and knowledge of the turn off. The aircraft then turned to the west rather than proceeding on course into Vietnamese airspace as instructed. After that the aircraft either turned north or south in the Indian Ocean.

Here is a timeline of events by the minute when MH 370 went missing: Read the full report from ABC News: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines issued this statement today:

Further to the statement by the Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak earlier today into the ongoing search for Flight MH 370, Malaysia Airlines has shared all available information with the relevant authorities since the moment we learned that the aircraft had disappeared, in the early hours of Saturday March 8. This includes the very first indications that MH 370 may have remained airborne for several hours after contact was lost, which the Prime Minister referred to today.

This is truly an unprecedented situation, for Malaysia Airlines and for the entire aviation industry. There has never been a case in which information gleaned from satellite signals alone could potentially be used to identify the location of a missing commercial airliner. Given the nature of the situation and its extreme sensitivity, it was critical that the raw satellite signals were verified and analysed by the relevant authorities so that their significance could be properly understood. This naturally took some time, during which we were unable to publicly confirm their existence.

We were well aware of the ongoing media speculation during this period, and its effect on the families of those on board. Their anguish and distress increases with each passing day, with each fresh rumor, and with each false or misleading media report. Our absolute priority at all times has been to support the authorities leading the multinational search for MH 370, so that we can finally provide the answers which the families and the wider community are waiting for.

We remain absolutely committed to sharing confirmed information with family members and the wider public in a fully open and transparent manner. However given the nature of the situation, the importance of validating new information before it is released into the public domain is paramount.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of the 227 passengers and our 12 Malaysia Airlines colleagues and friends on board flight MH 370. They will remain at the center of every action we take as a company, as they have been since MH 370 first disappeared.

The mystery of Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 deepens

Andaman and Nicobar Islands Map

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 operated with Boeing 777-2H7 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) remains missing with no sign of debris. There are reports the the airliner may have flown for up to five hours after the after radar contact was lost (the transponder was turned off). The mystery is deepening and the search area is broadening once again.

According to Reuters, “military radar data suggests a Malaysia Airlines jetliner missing for nearly a week was deliberately flown hundreds of miles off course, heightening suspicions of foul play among investigators, sources told Reuters on Friday.

Analysis of the Malaysia data suggests the plane, with 239 people on board, diverted from its intended northeast route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and flew west instead, using airline flight corridors normally employed for routes to the Middle East and Europe, said sources familiar with investigations into the Boeing 777′s disappearance.

Two sources said an unidentified aircraft that investigators believe was flight MH 370 was following a route between navigational waypoints when it was last plotted on military radar off the country’s northwest coast.

This indicates that it was either being flown by the pilots or someone with knowledge of those waypoints, the sources said.”

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

If the Reuters report is correct, this means the aircraft was flying (for whatever reason) towards the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (see map above) or beyond into the Indian Ocean. This will probably broadened the search area towards and possibly into the Indian Ocean.

Oddly today (March 14), a 5.5 magnitude earthquake struck in the sea off the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the U.S. Geological Survey reported via CNN.

Another report also deepens the mystery. Chinese researchers have reportedly detected a “seafloor event” in the waters between Malaysia and Vietnam around 2:55 am on Saturday. This is about 72 miles (116 km) northeast of the last known position at 1:30 am.

Read the full report from the Indian Express: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines has issued this latest statement:

Malaysia Airlines reiterates that we will continue to give our full support in cooperating with the search and rescue mission which is coordinated by the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA) under the purview of the Ministry of Transport, Malaysia.

Malaysia Airlines is fully aware of the on-going media speculations and we have nothing further to add to the information we have already provided.

Our primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families of the passengers and crew of MH 370. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support.

Malaysia Airlines will continue to provide regular updates to the general public via the media and our website on all matters affecting MH 370.

CNN Video: 9M-MRO is most likely at the bottom of the sea:

CNN Video: A tour of the Boeing 777 cockpit:

Malaysia Airlines Aircraft Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Malaysia Airlines retires MH 370 and MH 371 flight numbers, 9M-MRO may have flown for four hours after losing contact, no debris found

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) has retired the affected flight numbers and issued this statement:

As a mark of respect to the passengers and crew of MH 370 on March 8, 2014, the MH 370 and MH 371 flight codes will be retired from the Malaysia Airlines’ Kuala Lumpur- Beijing-Kuala Lumpur route.

With effect from March 14, 2014, the new flight number to replace MH 370 and MH 371 will be:-

MH 318 – Kuala Lumpur – Beijing

MH 319 – Beijing – Kuala Lumpur

There are no changes to the frequency of our services and we will continue to operate double daily services to Beijing.

Our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of our colleagues and passengers of MH 370.

In other news, the Wall Street Journal is reporting U .S. investigators helping to probe the disappearance of MH 370 now believe the Boeing 777-200 may have flown for four hours after losing contact with air traffic controllers due to the engine date. If true, this would dramatically require the widening of the search area.

However this information seems to be in dispute, as Reuters is reporting Malaysia Airlines has said previously that the Rolls-Royce Trent engines stopped transmitting engine condition reports  when contact with the missing 9M-MRO was lost.

Meanwhile planes and ships were searching an area of the South China Sea where Chinese satellite images had shown what could be aircraft debris, but had so far searchers have not found any debris from MH 370.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

The Australian explores the question of whether the crew passed out due to oxygen starvation because of a possible fuselage leak. The Australian  looks at Helios Airways crash in Greece. Read the full article: CLICK HERE

In summary, there is a lot of conflicting information and reports out there and really no one as this time knows the true location of the lost Boeing  777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420). No debris from the aircraft has been located despite some interesting reports. The direction the aircraft may have taken after losing radio contact and the distance it may have flown are all in dispute among the parties involved. Hopefully we will soon have closure on this tragedy.

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Where in the world is 9M-MRO? As incredible as it seems in this modern age, this missing airplane is becoming reminiscent of the long-time search for the much smaller Amelia Earhart’s missing Beechcraft in the South Pacific Ocean.

Malaysia Airlines:

Is the image of Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370?

MH 370 Satellite Photo (China)

China’s State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense has “announced the discovery of three suspected floating objects and in the South China Sea” according to CNN.

According to CNN, the objects are “13 by 18 meters (43 by 59 feet), 14 by 19 meters (46 by 62 feet) and 24 by 22 meters (79 feet by 72 feet). For reference, the wingspan of an intact Boeing 777-200 ER like the one that disappeared is about 61 meters (200 feet) and its overall length is about 64 meters (210 feet).”

According to the Chinese, the objects are located at 105.63 east longitude, 6.7 north latitude (see map below) in the South China Sea between Malaysia and Vietnam..

Read the full story from CNN: CLICK HERE

Read the full story from the BBC: CLICK HERE

Image: State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense.

Editor’s Note: The Chinese Government later admitted this image was a mistake and should not have been released.

Map: Google Maps.

China Coordinates

Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 was possibly headed towards the Indian Ocean

Malaysia logo-1

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 with 239 people on board remains lost and has become a bigger mystery. The search area has now been broadened. Malaysia is now asking for international help, especially from Europe, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to review the conflicting radar data.

Malaysia Air Force chief has denied military and government reports the Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) turned around and headed west to the Malacca Strait although this area is now part of the official search area.

The transponder was apparently turned off when it apparently turned to the west.

In summary, no one knows for sure where flight MH 370 has gone and there has been no confirmed debris found from the flight. It remains a mystery.

Read the full report by the BBC: CLICK HERE

New Straits Times has been comprehensively covering this story – here are all of their local articles: CLICK HERE

Pictorial video from New Strait Times:

)

Questions and answers on the MH 370 disappearance from the New York Times: CLICK HERE

Time Magazine: 6 mysterious airplane disappearances in aviation history: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines has issued this statement:

Malaysia Airlines’ primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families of the passengers and crew of MH370. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support. All these costs are borne by Malaysia Airlines.

We have deployed teams of caregivers consisting of trained MAS staff and volunteers from Mercy Malaysia and Tzu Chi Foundation. These caregivers are stationed at five different locations at Beijing and four different locations in Kuala Lumpur.

As of now, we have 115 family members in Kuala Lumpur and they are taken care of by 72 different caregivers. At least one caregiver is assigned to each family together with a Mandarin translator for the families from China.

The caregivers have been keeping the families updated on the search and rescue efforts as well as provide emotional support.

Equal amount of initial financial assistance are being given out to all families of passengers and crew over and above their basic needs. This amount is extended to families of all crew and passengers in Malaysia as well those from other nations.

We regret and empathise with the families and we will do whatever we can to ease.

 

 

Help find missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370

Help Find MH 370

Malaysia Airlines’ (Kuala Lumpur) missing flight MH 370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) with 239 passengers and crew members remains a mystery and has not been found.

Now you can help by reviewing recently downloaded satellite maps by Digital Globe of the prospective search areas and to help tag suspected areas or mysterious shapes.

CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines responds to media reports about allegations against the first officer of missing flight MH 370

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Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) first officer Fariq Ab Hamid on missing flight MH 370 once allegedly allowed two South African teenagers into the cockpit during a entire flight from Phuket to Kuala Lumpur in 2011 according to NBC News and Channel 9 in Australia citing an interview with Jonti Roos. The woman produced photos and video with the first officer on the ground after the alleged flight.

Malaysia Airlines issued this statement:

Malaysia Airlines has become aware of the allegations being made against First Officer, Fariq Ab Hamid which we take very seriously. We are shocked by these allegations.

We have not been able to confirm the validity of the pictures and videos of the alleged incident. As you are aware, we are in the midst of a crisis, and we do not want our attention to be diverted.

We also urge the media and general public to respect the privacy of the families of our colleagues and passengers. It has been a difficult time for them.

The welfare of both the crew and passenger’s families remain our focus. At the same time, the security and safety of our passengers is of the utmost importance to us.

Read the full report from NBC: CLICK HERE

Read the full report from The Guardian: CLICK HERE

Did Malaysia Airlines missing flight MH 370 fly west into the Strait of Malacca?, Cathay Pacific flight reports metal objects floating in the water off the South China Sea near Ho Chi Minh City

MH 370 Malacca Strait Map

Malaysia’s military believes it traced the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 flight MH 370 into the Malacca Strait (northwest of Kuala Lumpur) according to this report by Reuters. According to the military, the aircraft changed course after passing over Kota Bharu and took a lower altitude and headed west to this large body of water (see map above).

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) is still missing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members on board. The previous oil slick in the Gulf of Thailand (north of Kota Bharu) has been identified as not coming from the missing aircraft. No wreckage has been found in the Gulf of Thailand from the missing and presumed crashed airliner.

Meanwhile Malaysia has identified and issued photos of the two Iranians who used the stolen passports.

Read the full Reuters report: CLICK HERE

Video: Report on the two Iranians:

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Meanwhile the chief of Interpol says he does not believe the missing airliner was due to terrorism.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

The New York Times offers this “Questions and Answers” (to common questions) on the missing MH 370: CLICK HERE

A Cathay Pacific Airways flight has reported a relatively large metal debris area off the Vietnam coast near Ho Chi Minh City.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Map of the area where the Cathay Pacific Airways flight has reported the floating metal debris:

Malaysia-Vietnam Cathay Pacific Debris Map

At least two passengers used stolen passports to board Malaysia flight MH 370, U.S. Navy joins the search for the missing Boeing 777

Malaysia MH 370 Map-1

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 operated with Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) still remains missing. However a vessel from Singapore participating in the search has found “suspicious objects” according to the Los Angeles Times. The objects have no yet been conformed as coming from the aircraft. 40 ships 22 airplanes are searching a larger area around the discovered oil slick (see above). The U.S. Navy has joined the search. There are also some indications that the aircraft may have turned around according to the radar records.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Meanwhile at least two passengers travelled on flight MH 370 with stolen passports (some media reports have it at four passengers) adding to the suspicion of terrorism in bringing down the flight. According to CNN, the two passengers who used the stolen passengers appear to have purchased the tickets together. The passengers were using Beijing as a connection point for on-going travel to Europe.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

5 theories on what could have happened to MH 370 according to the The Straits Times: CLICK HERE

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Malaysia Airlines issued this statement on March 9:

More than 24 hours after the lost of contact with Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370, the search and rescue teams are still unable to detect the whereabouts of the missing aircraft.

The airline is doing its utmost to provide support to the affected family members, this includes immediate financial aid.

The airline has deployed a team of 94 caregivers consisting of well-trained staff and also Tzu Chi Foundation members to provide emotional support to the families. The airline will also be deploying another set of caregivers to Beijing later today.

Last night, a Malaysia Airlines’ Senior Management team arrived at Beijing to address the media and met with family members. Families of affected passengers in Kuala Lumpur were also met by the team.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Airlines will set up a command center at Kota Bharu, Malaysia or Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam as soon as the location of the aircraft is established and the airline will make the necessary arrangements.

The airline is continuously working with the authorities in providing assistance. In fearing for the worst, a disaster recovery management specialist from Atlanta, USA will be assisting Malaysia Airlines in this crucial time.

On Monday March 10 Malaysia Airlines issued this statement for the missing airplane:

The purpose of this statement is to update on emergency response activities at Malaysia Airlines.

On notification of the incident the following steps have been taken:-

The EOC:-

1. Activation of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in the early morning of 8 March 2014. The EOC is the central command and control facility responsible for carrying out emergency management functions at the strategic level during a disaster.

2. In addition to the EOC, various departments of Malaysia Airlines are also addressing to all the different needs during this crisis.

Family Management

1. Malaysia Airlines is working closely with the government of China to expedite the issuance of passports for the families intending to travel to Malaysia, as well as with the immigration of Malaysia on the issuance of their visas into Malaysia.

2. Malaysia Airlines is deploying an additional aircraft to bring the families from Beijing to Kuala Lumpur on 11 March 2014.

3. When the aircraft is located, a Response Coordination Centre (RCC) will be established within the vicinity to support the needs of the families. This has been communicated specifically to the families.

4. Once the Response Coordination Centre is operational, we will provide transport and accommodation to the designated areas for the family members.

5. Our oneworld partners have been engaged to help bring family members in other countries aside from China into Kuala Lumpur.

Search and Rescue

1. Malaysia Airlines has been actively cooperating with the search and rescue authorities coordinated by the Department of Civil Aviation Malaysia (DCA) and the Ministry of Transport

2. DCA has confirmed that search and rescue teams from Australia, China, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, New Zealand and the United States of America have come forward to assist. We are grateful for these efforts.

We also want to address a few common queries from the media.

We are receiving many queries about how the passengers with the stolen passports purchased their tickets. We are unable to comment on this matter as this is a security issue. We can however confirm that we have given all the flight details to the authorities for further investigation.

We also confirm that we are making necessary arrangements for MH 370 passengers’ families from Beijing to travel to Kuala Lumpur. However, flight details of the families’ arrival are highly confidential. This is to protect the privacy and well-being of the families during this difficult time and to respect their space. Our position is not to reveal any information on the flight or movements of the families.

Malaysia Airlines’ primary focus at this point in time is to care for the families of the passengers and crew of MH370. This means providing them with timely information, travel facilities, accommodation, meals, medical and emotional support. The costs for these are all borne by Malaysia Airlines.

All other Malaysia Airlines’ flights are as per schedule. The safety of our passengers and crew has always been and will continue to be of utmost importance to us.

The airline continues to work with the authorities and we appreciate the help we are receiving from all local and international parties and agencies during this critical and difficult time.

Malaysia Airlines reiterates that it will continue to be transparent in communicating with the general public via the media on all matters affecting MH 370.

Video: Follow MH 370 on radar via Flightradar24:

CNN explores the question of question of why there so few facts for the missing 777: CLICK HERE

Map: Google Maps.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Breaking News: Malaysia Airlines flight MH 370 is missing, Vietnamese Navy says it crashed into the sea south of Phu Quoc Island, oil slick spotted, two stolen passports were used to board the aircraft

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) flight MH 370 (operated with the pictured Boeing 777-2H7 ER 9M-MRO, msn 28420) departed Kuala Lumpur at 0041 local time on March 8 bound for Beijing, China. The flight has gone missing and did not enter Chinese airspace.  Radar contact was lost with the aircraft near Vietnam airspace over water (Gulf of Thailand). The aircraft was last reported to be flying at 35,000 feet. There was no communication from the crew about any problem. Search and Rescue units are now searching for the aircraft.

According to CNN, “the Vietnamese Navy confirmed the plane crashed into the Gulf of Thailand. According to Navy Admiral Ngo Van Phat, a regional commander, military radar recorded that the plane crashed into the sea south of Phu Quoc island.”

However no debris has been located.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Read the latest report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

A 12-mile oil slick has been discovered between Malaysia and Vietnam by a Vietnamese Navy Antonov An-26 according to the New York Times. The last reported position of the aircraft was between Malaysia and Vietnam. It is unclear if this is from the aircraft.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

There are now reports that at least two stolen passports were used to board the aircraft which is now raising the question that this may have led to a possible terrorist attack.

The Telegraph explores this issue (along with a picture of the oil slick): CLICK HERE

Phu Quoc Island is on the border of Vietnam and Cambodia, southwest of Phnom Penh and west of Ho Chi Minh City (Google Maps):

Phu Quoc Island (Map) MH 370

The airline initially issued this statement:

We deeply regret that we have lost all contacts with flight MH 370 which departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41 am earlier this morning (March 8) bound for Beijing. The aircraft was scheduled to land at Beijing International Airport at 6.30 am local Beijing time. Subang Air Traffic Control reported that it lost contact at 2.40 am (local Malaysia time).

Flight MH 370 was operated on a Boeing 777-200 aircraft. The flight was carrying a total number of 239 passengers and crew – comprising 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members. The passengers were of 13 different nationalities. Malaysia Airlines is currently working with the authorities who have activated their Search and Rescue team to locate the aircraft. Our team is currently calling the next-of-kin of passengers and crew.

Focus of the airline is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize its full support. Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members. The airline will provide regular updates on the situation.

The airline will provide regular updates on the situation. Meanwhile, the public may contact +603 7884 1234 for further info.

Malaysia Airlines issued this latest update midday on March 8:

Malaysia Airlines is still unable to establish any contact or determine the whereabouts of flight MH 370. Earlier today (March 8), Subang ATC had lost contact with the aircraft at 2.40 am. The last known position of MH370 before it disappeared off the radar was 065515 North (longitude) and 1033443 East (latitude).

We are still trying to locate the current location of the flight based on the last known position of the aircraft. We are working with the International search and rescue teams in trying to locate the aircraft. So far, we have not received any emergency signals or distress messages from MH 370. We are working with authorities and assure that all sources are deployed to assist with the search and rescue mission.

The passenger manifest will not be released until all families of the passengers have been informed. The flight was carrying a total number of 239 passengers and crew – comprising 227 passengers (including 2 infants) and 12 crew members.

We are deploying our “Go Team” to Beijing which will depart Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 4.30 pm with a team of caregivers and volunteers to assist the family members of the passengers.

The passengers are of 14 different nationalities. All crew on-board are Malaysians.

Please take note that the earlier statement did not include the number of Indian nationals. This was due to confusion between the country code of Indonesia and India.

The below table shows the latest number of passengers and their nationalities:-

Nationality Total
China/Taiwan 154 including infant
Malaysia 38
India 5
Indonesia 7
Australia 6
France 4
USA 3 including infant
New Zealand 2
Ukraine 2
Canada 2
Russian 1
Italy 1
Netherlands 1
Austrian 1

Our focus now is to work with the emergency responders and authorities and mobilize our full support.

Our thoughts and prayers are with all affected passengers and crew and their family members.

Shortly after midnight, Sunday March 9 local time, Malaysia Airlines issued this update:

Malaysia Airlines humbly asks all Malaysians and people around the world to pray for flight MH 370.

It has been more than 24 hours since we last heard from MH 370 at 1.30 am. The search and rescue team is yet to determine the whereabouts of the Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

An international search and rescue mission from Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam was mobilized this morning (March 8). At this stage, they have failed to find evidence of any wreckage. The sea mission will continue overnight while the air mission will recommence at daylight.

We are dispatching all information as and when we receive it. The situation in Beijing is also being monitored closely. As many families of passengers are in China, we have deployed our “Go Team” to Beijing with a team of caregivers and volunteers to assist the family members of the passengers.

Immediate families of passengers are advised to gather at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Travel arrangements and expenses will be borne by Malaysia Airlines. Once, the whereabouts of the aircraft is determined, Malaysia Airlines will fly members of the family to the location.

Our sole priority now is to provide all assistance to the families of the passengers and our staff. We are also working closely with the concerned authorities in the search and rescue operation

Copyright Photo: Stefan Sjogren/AirlinersGallery.com. Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRO (msn 28420) is pictured arriving at Stockholm (Arlanda) before the accident.

Malaysia Airlines (slide show of their aircraft): AG Slide Show

We will update this initial report with more information as it becomes available.

Satellite Weather – Southeast Asia from Meteoblue. The current weather appears to be mostly clear over Vietnam:

Satellite SE Asia 3.8.14

Other Airline News: CLICK HERE

CNN Video:

Malaysia Airlines to end Los Angeles flights on April 30

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) will end service to Los Angeles on April 30 per Airline Route. The carrier currently serves LAX from Kuala Lumpur via Tokyo (Narita) four days a week. The carrier has been serving the route since July 1986.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing/AirlinersGallery.com. Malaysia Airlines assigns the Boeing 777-200 ER to the long-distance route. Boeing 777-2H6 ER 9M-MRL (msn 29065) with the special 50 Years – 1963-2013 Jubi Emas logo departs the runway at Los Angeles International Airport.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

 

Malaysia Airlines firms up its order for 20 new ATR 72-600s for Firefly and MASwings

MASwings ATR 72-600 (07)(Flt)(ATR)(LRW)

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) has signed a purchase agreement for 20 firm ATR 72-600s, plus options for 16 additional aircraft. The deal is valued at over $840 million (US), including options. The signature of this new contract follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) announced by the airline in December 2012. With this signature, Malaysia Airlines brings to 42 the total of firm ATR 72s purchased since the initial purchase agreement in 2007. Malaysia Airlines currently has 22 ATR 72-500s, operated by business units Firefly (12) and MASwings (10).  The introduction of these aircraft, which are the first ATR -600s to be selected for the growing Malaysian and regional market, will reinforce Firefly’s and MASwings position on community markets and business routes and confirms Malaysia Airlines as a major operator of ATRs in Asia. Deliveries will start by mid 2013.

The arrival of these new ATR 72-600s will enable Malaysia Airlines to further expand its regional offer, adding new routes and frequencies to its global network. The new ATR 72-600 delivers the latest innovations in terms of passenger comfort, with the award-winning Armonia cabin designed by Giugiaro and equipped with new slim line seats, larger overhead bins and appealing LED lighting.

Besides the 22 ATR 72-500s operated by Firefly and MASwings, Malaysia Airlines also has a fleet of over 100 medium and long-haul Airbus A330s, A380s, Boeing 737s, 747s and 777s.

Malaysia Airlines has just become a member of oneworld alliance, and operates flights to Asia, Australia/New Zealand, the Middle East, Europe and the US West coast.

Commenting on the deal, Ahmad Jauhari, Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Airlines, declared: “We have been partnering with ATR for the last five years, and we are really satisfied with the outstanding performance and the commercial results that our ATR 72s provide to our growing community networks. The ATR aircraft are clearly playing an important role in the development of Malaysia Airlines, as they connect regional destinations and enable us to feed larger aircraft at our main hubs. The new aircraft will further improve the guest experience on our community airlines as they connect more and more people across Malaysia and the surrounding regions”.

Image: ATR.

Malaysia Airlines: AG Slide Show

Malaysia Airlines celebrates 40 years of flying with a new retrojet

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) yesterday (December 12) revealed one of its aircraft with the original livery it featured on October 1, 1972, to commemorate its 40 years of Malaysian Hospitality delivery to air travellers. The Malaysia Airlines’ Boeing 737-800 was re-painted in full colors of the first ever aircraft that took to the skies four decades ago.

The original livery has the logo featuring the Kelantan wau bulan or moon kite in a red circle, representing controlled flight and also a fine expression of the many mythologies associated with Malaysia.  To complement the logo then, the national carrier sported the colors of the Jalur Gemilang on the aircraft, where red, the dominant color was used for the two stripes across the body as in the flag. Blue was used for the words of the airline’s name with white for the background. The stylized kite, the dominant theme, was fast recognized round the world  for achieving the dual impression of movement and modernity and most importantly identifying the Malaysian flag carrier to travellers around the world.

Named the ‘Retro Livery’, the aircraft was revealed at a special function at KL International Airport (KLIA) today graced by Malaysia Airlines, Chairman, Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof and Malaysia Airlines, Group CEO Encik Ahmad Jauhari Yayha as well as some distinguished guests from the aviation industry and a good number of Malaysia Airlines’ staff.

The function was filled with a nostalgic atmosphere that brought out the feeling of inspiration amongst all that attended. Various staff recorded their MH stories which had elements of gratitude, hard work, satisfaction, friendship and most of all the lesson of hope against all odds. It was evident from the staff’ speeches that they valued their association with Malaysia Airlines throughout the years.

The retro livery aircraft is set to soar the skies starting on December 13, beginning with flights to Jakarta and Bangkok, two popular Malaysia Airlines’ destinations. To further enhance customer experience on-board, Malaysia Airlines has also introduced new in-flight meal presentations for flights operated by this exclusive aircraft. The menus are designed by Malaysia Airlines’ chef wearing their retro toques while looking back to identify the popular dishes of yester-years. This special menu consists of evergreen Malaysia Airlines’ dishes that will not fail to tantalise the tastebuds of customers.

There will also be a special surprise for passengers on MH711 and MH782 which will be operated using this retro livery aircraft to Jakarta and Bangkok respectively on December 13, 2012 from KLIA. Malaysia Airlines’ top management members will be present at the boarding gates to greet and hand-out surprise gifts to all passengers. All this and more are to reward and appreciate customers for their continuous support towards Malaysia Airlines.

Malaysia Airlines has played a significant role in the development of the nation, Malaysia and it was for this very reason, it was formed 40 years ago. While it has notched 65 years in aviation  which is shared together with Singapore Airlines, 40 years marks an important milestone in the history of Malaysia and Malaysians. As this calls for a definite celebration. Malaysia Airlines ushers in the New Year of 2013 in conjunction with the 40th year of its flight code ‘MH’, with its staff making a conscious commitment and resolution in each of their work areas, to come together, to be united and to be a team for a much stronger, revitalized, re-energised and sustainably profitable Malaysia Airlines. A strong Malaysia Airlines also reflects on the strength that brings the staff together on a commitment to serve customers better and better each day.

Malaysian Airline System-MAS (today operating as Malaysia Airlines) commenced operations on April 3, 1971.

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Boeing 737-8H6 9M-MXA (msn 40128) arrives at Bangkok on the first day of operations in the retrojet colors.

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Malaysia Airlines to join Oneworld on February 1, 2013

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) will join the Oneworld alliance on February 1, 2013. Oneworld issued the following statement:

Malaysia Airlines will become a full member of oneworld® with effect from Friday 1 February 2013, adding one of commercial aviation’s most frequent award winners to the world’s leading quality airline alliance.

The national airline of Malaysia received clearance to board oneworld after successfully completing a thorough review of its readiness conducted by Qantas, which is sponsoring its entry into the alliance, with theoneworld central team.

While its alliance implementation programme is on track for completion in the coming weeks, its addition tooneworld is being held until the beginning of 2013 to avoid the end-of-year holiday season and for other administrative reasons.

Malaysia Airlines will start offering oneworld’s full range of services and benefits from 1 February 2013 – becoming the alliance’s second airline operating the Airbus A380, after its oneworld sponsor Qantas.

From then, the 2 million members of Malaysia Airlines’ Enrich loyalty programme will, in effect, have their frequent flyer privileges extended to whenever they fly with any oneworld member airline – airberlin, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, LAN Airlines, Qantas, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and some 25 affiliated airlines.  This includes earning and redeeming mileage awards and earning tier status points when flying with all these airlines.

Enrich Platinum cardholders will have Emerald status in the oneworld program.  Enrich Gold will be equivalent to oneworld Sapphire and Enrich Silver will be oneworld Ruby.

From 1 February, Enrich Platinum and Gold members will be able to use any of the 550 airport lounges worldwide offered by oneworld member airlines whenever they fly with any of the alliance’s carriers.  Malaysia Airlines’ First and Business Class passengers will also be able to use oneworld partner airline lounges.  (See notes)

Also from 1 February, the 125 million members of the established oneworld airlines’ frequent flyer programmes will be able to earn and redeem awards and tier status points and receive all other oneworld benefits on Malaysia Airlines.  (See notes)

Malaysia Airlines is already participating in Global Explorer, the round-the-world fare offered by all oneworld members and various airlines that are not part of the alliance.  From 1 February, Malaysia Airlines’ network – serving more than 60 destinations in nearly 30 countries – will be covered by oneworld’s full and extensive range of alliance fares and sales products.

Malaysia Airlines will substantially expand the alliance’s network in South East Asia, where it will add 14 destinations and one country – Brunei – to the oneworld map.  More significantly, it will strengthen the alliance’s connectivity between many key business cities in Asia and other parts of the world.

Its addition will expand oneworld’s global coverage to some 840 destinations in 156 countries, served by some 9,000 departures a day operated by a combined fleet of some 2,500 aircraft, carrying nearly 340 million passengers a year, with annual revenues of US$ 110 billion.  Add oneworld’s other members elect – Qatar Airways and Sri Lankan Airlines – and the alliance network reaches to 856 destinations in 159 countries.

Currently three of oneworld’s active member airlines serve three points in Malaysia, with Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian flying to Kuala Lumpur, Cathay Pacific operating to Penang and its Dragonair regional affiliate to Kota Kinabalu.

Malaysia Airlines’ oneworld implementation programme has represented one of the most extensive projects in the airline’s history, with working groups covering some 20 streams of activity.  Projects are nearing completion to bring its various internal processes and procedures into line with the alliance’s requirements, and extensive employee training and communications programmes are now underway at Malaysia Airlines and the alliance’s existing members, to ensure they are ready to provide oneworld’s customer services and benefits across the expanded alliance from 1 February.

oneworld CEO Bruce Ashby said: “Malaysia Airlines is an ideal candidate for oneworld, with its world-class reputation for customer service mirroring oneworld’s own focus.  Its Kuala Lumpur home will provide our customers with another of the world’s best airports, geographically well placed between our existing hubs. This will greatly enhance oneworld’s offering throughout one of the world’s fastest growing region for air travel demand.”

Malaysia Airlines Group Chief Executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya added: “oneworld membership represents one of the most significant achievements to date for Malaysia Airlines.  It will strengthen our competitive position considerably, enabling our customers to enjoy a truly global network together with our partners who include some of the best and biggest airlines in the world, while enabling us also to tap into all the financial benefits that come from being part of a global alliance, through additional passenger feed and cost reduction opportunities.  We are very pleased and proud to join what is clearly the world’s top quality airline grouping on 1 February.”

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean. Brand new Boeing 737-8H6 9M-MLQ (msn 39327) lands at Paine Field near Everett after a test flight.

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Malaysia Airlines is planning to retire the last passenger Boeing 747-400 in February 2013

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) is planning to retire the last Boeing 747-400 from revenue passenger service in February 2013 according to a report by Airline Route.

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Although now repainted and retired, Boeing 747-4H6 9M-MPB (msn 25699) once wore this colorful red Hibiscus livery.

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Malaysia to introduce the Airbus A380 on the Beijing route on March 1

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) will introduce the Airbus A380 on the Kuala Lumpur-Beijing route on March 1, 2013 according to Airline Route.

On the financial side, the company reported an operating loss in the second quarter. Here is the full report:

“Malaysia Airlines has announced a reduced operating loss of RM102 million for the second quarter ended 30 June 2012 compared to RM443 million in the same period last year. The significant 77% improvement in performance year-on-year (y-o-y) at the operating level was due to efforts in the pricing and revenue management area plus lower fuel costs and lower passenger-related costs in line with capacity cuts.

The operating loss for the second quarter was also lower than the operating loss of RM307 million achieved in the first quarter of 2012. For the second quarter of 2012, total revenue fell 6% to RM3.2 billion compared to RM3.4 billion in the previous year following the Route Rationalisation programme in late 2011 and early 2012 to cut several loss-making and low yielding routes.

Group expenditure reduced 13% y-o-y to RM3.4 billion. Fuel costs, which accounted for 37% of expenditure, fell 18% to RM1.3 billion following a 15% drop in consumption. The same quarter also saw a drop in jet fuel price to an average USD132 per barrel from USD140 per barrel y-o-y. Non-fuel costs dropped 10%.

Aircraft leasing costs reduced 9% due to the return of two freighter Boeing 747 aircraft. Overall maintenance costs fell by 16% whilst handling and landing costs fell some 20%. On the other hand, depreciation of aircraft increased 35% in the second quarter due to additions to the fleet with the arrival of 5 new aircraft including the first of six A380 ordered as part of its fleet renewal program.

The Group’s net loss after interest and taxes stood at RM348.7 million for the second quarter ended 30 June 2012, equivalent to a 34% improvement on the loss of RM525.8 million registered in the same period y-o-y. Included in the second quarter 2012 results was a forex loss of RM173.0 million due to the strengthening of the US Dollar against the Ringgit.

For the 6 months ended 30 June 2012, Malaysia Airlines’ net loss stood at RM520.1 million, 32% better than the previous loss of RM767.4 million for the same period in 2011.”

In other news, on August 6, Boeing and Malaysia Airlines celebrated the direct delivery of the airline’s 75th 737 aircraft during an event at Boeing Field. The airplane, a Next-Generation 737-800, arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 8, 2012.

The airplane comes with the 787 Dreamliner-inspired Boeing Sky Interior, which features larger pivoting overhead stowage bins, larger window reveals and LED lighting to enhance the sense of spaciousness. Malaysia Airlines was the Asia launch customer for the Boeing Sky Interior in October 2010.

Malaysia Airlines took delivery of its first 737 in 1972 and has operated the 737-200, 737-300, 737-400, 737-500 and 737-800.

Copyright Photo: Rob Skinkis. Airbus A380-841 9M-MNB (msn 081) climbs away from London (Heathrow) in the full special livery.

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Malaysia Airlines narrows its first quarter net loss to $54.3 million, is set for the delivery of the first Airbus A380

Malaysia Airlines (Malaysia Airlines Group) (Kuala Lumpur) reported it narrowed its first quarter net loss to $54.3 million.

The flag carrier also restated it would not restart jet operations at its Firefly subsidiary.

The company issued this statement:

“Malaysia Airlines Group registered a loss after tax of RM171 million for the first quarter ended 31 March 2012, a significant 29% reduction from the RM242 million loss for the same period last year despite higher jet fuel price averaging $135 per barrel during the quarter compared to $120 per barrel in the previous year.

Total revenue of the Group stood at RM3.11 billion while overall operating expenditure was RM3.42 billion, thus leading Malaysia Airlines to register an operating loss of RM307 million for the first three months of 2012, 10% lower year-on-year.

According to Malaysia Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer, Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, “We were able to achieve a lower net loss for the first three months of 2012 compared to the previous year because we made some tough decisions per our Business Plan. We cut unprofitable routes especially in long haul where yields were low. This helped us to immediately improve our Revenue per Available Seat Kilometre (‘RASK’) performance year-on-year. On the cost side, we lowered our fuel bill with improved consumption as a result of newer fuel-efficient aircraft.”

Ahmad Jauhari added, “Improved cost management was also seen for non-fuel variable costs, although we are currently unable to address our fixed costs. We are optimistic this situation will change in the not too distant future. From these Q1 results, we feel confident of continuing improvements in performance, given that the initiatives from our Business Plan are bearing fruit.”

For the airline, passenger yield increased 12% while RASK increased by 8%. Passenger capacity decreased 8% due to network rationalization that included 12 route cuts during the period. The Group’s aggressive focus to consolidate its network has begun to show promising results.

Cargo saw a 15% decrease in operating revenue for the quarter to RM431.2 million compared to last year due to proactive capacity management. Capacity decreased 19%, with yield increasing by 6%.

Group operating expenses for this quarter was RM3.42 billion, 3.1% lower than the same quarter last year. Fuel remained the largest component at 38%, equivalent to RM1.31 billion, which was an increase of RM142 million in spend on jet fuel alone. Aided by the network rationalization and improved fuel consumption from more efficient aircraft, the Group was still able to record a significant achievement with a lower total expenditure despite the rise in fuel price.

Staff cost increased 7% to RM591 million for the quarter ended 31 March 2012 due to salary increments and upward adjustments to the salary structure as a result of one Collective Agreement signed with a union.

Ahmad Jauhari expressed his gratitude to the staff, “I am pleased that the Management and employees are committed to the success of the Business Plan. This is evidenced by improved the On-Time Performance (OTP) which averaged 91.26% for the quarter ended 31 March 2012, representing a high 9.36% improvement on the 81.9% average for the same quarter last year.”

“We are also on track to win back more customers with a major re-fleeting exercise. This year, 23 new aircraft equipped with state-of-the-art passenger amenities will join our fleet. This is led by our flagship A380 aircraft which is on schedule to enter into service on 1 July 2012. Supported by intensified sales and marketing, we are confident of improving our customer base to boost yield and load factors”, said Ahmad Jauhari.

The airline is also moving quickly to increase productivity and efficiency. This includes increasing utilization of its fleet through greater frequency to most popular regional destinations and a faster aircraft turnaround times at airports. This will be a foundation for Malaysia Airlines to implement a continuous improvement philosophy across all of operating areas to become a world class airline, and achieve the airline’s vision of being the preferred premium carrier.

Ahmad Jauhari also took the opportunity to thank the Board members for their support of the tough decisions taken to implement the Business Plan. “I thank the Board of Directors for their support of Management’s implementation of the Business Plan. Their support was imperative to our ability to get to this stage of the Plan towards getting our Company back to profitability. Our appreciation also goes to former Directors, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes and Dato’ Kamarudin Meranun, for their invaluable support and guidance during their tenure on our Board.”

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. Malaysia Airlines will become the next Airbus A380 operator, introducing the new type on July 1 in this revised livery.

Malaysia Airlines: 

Malaysia Airlines: 

The first Airbus A380 for Malaysia Airlines taxies at Hamburg today

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) has six new Airbus A380s on order. The carrier plans to put the new type into revenue service in July and thus will become the next new operator of the type.

The first copy, the pictured A380-841 with the test registration of F-WWSU (msn 078), performed its taxi tests at Hamburg (Finkenwerder) today (April 16). The airframe will become 9M-MNA on delivery.

Copyright Photo: Gerd Beilfuss. F-WWSU displays a partial new livery as previously announced.

Hot New Photos Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines will introduce a new (another) color scheme with the new Airbus A380s

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) updated its brand in 2010 (see below). Apparently the flag carrier does not like it enough for its new Airbus A380s (see the A380 above) which is being introduced on July 1 on the Kuala-Lumpur-London (Heathrow) route. It is unclear if this new color scheme will be adopted fleet-wide.

Here is the statement by the airline for another new livery:

“Malaysia Airlines today (March 8) revealed the design and specifications of its first new flagship aircraft, the Airbus A380-800, that is on track for entry into service from July 1, 2012.

The first Malaysian A380 aircraft’s exterior was showcased in a new livery that retained the national airline’s rich ‘wau’ heritage together with modern fonts in contemporary colours, demonstrating the national carrier’s commitment towards using new avenues to deliver its renowned Malaysian Hospitality brand experience in fresh and exciting ways.

Malaysia Airlines’ Group Chief Executive Officer, Encik Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said, ‘We are the first to introduce the A380 into service using a uniquely refreshed look and feel, instead of the regular corporate identity, to showcase our latest premium offering in products and services. This will be our flagship aircraft to launch our exciting new levels of comfort, luxury and convenience in long haul travel.”

The A380 has a capacity of 494 seats in a three-class configuration comprising 8 First Class seats and 350 Economy Class seats on the main deck, together with 66 Business Class seats and 70 economy Class seats on the upper deck.

The First Class cabin has a luxurious seat pitch of 85 inches with 87 inch full flat bed seats complemented with individual 23 inch inflight entertainment (IFE) screens whilst the Business Class cabin features a seat pitch of 74 inches and full flat bed seats each measuring 72 inches in length together with individual 17-inch IFE screens.

The Economy class seats with an 18-inch seat width and recline of 6 inches, have a seat pitch of 32 inches and individual IFE screens measuring 10.6 inches. In-seat laptop charging facilities are available on every seat in First and Business Class. In Economy, laptop charging facilities are shared by every 2 seats

The aircraft is fitted with the Thales entertainment system, with fully customized Graphic User Interface specific for quick navigation and seat in all classes is equipped with USB port and satellite telephone facility.

Operated by a cabin crew team of 18 members for inflight delivery of the unique Malaysian Hospitality, customers travelling on Malaysia Airlines’ A380 will be treated to a fine selection of Malaysian and International cuisines with lighter and healthier-concept meals. For the first time, the “Chef-on-Call” facility, currently available to First Class passengers of Malaysia Airlines, will also be available for Business Class passengers of the A380 as an extension of the airline’s renowned Branded Customer Experience.

The first A380 of Malaysia’s national carrier will operate 3 times weekly on the Kuala Lumpur-London route from July 1, 2012. The second A380 will also be introduced on this route from the end of August 2012 to offer double operations while the third will be used for Kuala Lumpur-Sydney flights.”

Top Image: Malaysia Airlines.

Malaysia Airlines Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Bottom Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group. The new Airbus A380s will not wear the 2010 livery like this Boeing 737-800.

Malaysia Airlines is in a “crisis” after posting a $841 million loss in 2011, stock dips

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) is described to be in a “crisis” mode to stem losses after reporting a $841 million net loss in 2011.

Malaysia Airlines plans to retire and return 58 aircraft from now through 2014.

The flag carrier reported its fuel costs rose 21 percent in 2011.

Here is full report by the airline:

4th Quarter 2011 ended 31 December 2011

Group Revenue: RM3.68 billion

Group Expenditure: RM4.99 billion

Net Loss: RM1.28 billion

Capacity (ASK) up 1%; Traffic (RPK) down 6%; Seat Factor down to 72.5%

Financial Year 2011 ended 31 December 2011

Group Revenue: RM13.90 billion

Group Expenditure: RM16.20 billion

Net Loss: RM2.52 billion

Capacity (ASK) up 7%; Traffic (RPK) up 5%; Seat Factor down to 75%

Subang, Wednesday, 29 February 2012: Malaysia Airlines reported an unaudited net loss of RM1.28 billion for the fourth quarter ended 31 December 2011, bringing the Group’s full year results to a net loss of RM2.52 billion for the financial year ended 31 December 2011 on the back of a marginal increase in Group revenue (up 2% to RM13.90 billion) and carrying 1.3 million more passengers (totalling 17 million) compared to the previous year.

The Group’s full year performance was severely impacted by a 21% increase in expenditure over the previous year (2011: RM16.20 billion versus 2010: RM13.41 billion) attributed to a 33% year-on-year increase in fuel cost (2011: RM5.85 billion versus 2010: RM4.38 billion) and a 15% increase in non-fuel expenses (2011: RM10.43 billion versus 2010: RM9.03 billion).

The increase in non-fuel expenses were mainly due to provisions totalling RM1.09 billion made in the fourth quarter for stock obsolescence, redelivery of aircraft and impairment of freighter aircraft.

For the full year, Malaysia Airlines saw capacity (Available Seat per Kilometre) increase by 7%, passenger traffic up 5% but a lower seat factor to 75%. Revenue per ASK (RASK) rose 2% to 18.5 sen per km whilst yield improved 4% to 24.7 sen compared to the previous year.

Revenue and average fares across all classes showed improvement throughout the year, particularly in the front-end cabins. However, there was an overall drop in seat factor as the airline strived for better yields. On a regional performance basis, the domestic and short-haul, intra-Asean services continued to be key markets for the Company, with these segments reporting positive growth on a quarterly as well as on a year to-date basis.

The cargo division suffered in line with an overall slowdown of the industry globally. Revenue dropped 14%, capacity decreased 9% whilst yield increased 2%. MASkargo recorded a loss before tax of RM19 million in 2011 compared to a profit of RM141million in the previous year due to higher fuel costs and impairment of its A330 freighter fleet.

For the year under review, several major provisions were made. Malaysia Airlines’ plan to return 58 aircraft to lessors is expected to cost the Company approximately RM1.03 billion. It has so far provided RM431 million, thereby necessitating an additional provision of RM602 million. The other provisions included RM179 million for additional provision for engineering stock obsolescence and RM314 million for aircraft impairment relating to its cargo fleet.

Earlier in 2008 and 2010, Malaysia Airlines had placed firm orders for a total of 50 aircraft plus options for an additional 30 aircraft to be delivered from 2010 to 2017. In 2011, MAS had exercised 10 of those options. The Company has a current fleet of 91 aircraft with an average fleet age of 12.2 years and in 2012, Malaysia Airlines will be taking delivery of another 23 new aircraft.

An additional provision of RM602 million has been made for aircraft redelivery to enable Malaysia Airlines to retire and return 58 aircraft from now up to 2014. The bulk of these will take place in 2012 comprising the older uneconomical 18-19 year old aircraft. By the end of 2012, our fleet size will be 80 aircraft with an average fleet age of 7.7 years.”

With the incoming fleet, a thorough review had been carried out on spares resulting in an additional provision for impairment and obsolescence of aircraft spares amounting to RM179 million.

The Group’s cargo business was also impacted by the current weakness in the global air freight business. This year MASkargo will be having a fleet of 6 dedicated wide-body freighters including 4 new A330-200F. As a result of the new A330 Freighters, our freighter tonnage lifting capacity will increase by 5%. In view of the losses at MASkargo and the recent announcement by Airbus to develop the A330 Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) conversion programme which will depress the value of new freighters, Malaysia Airlines has decided to make a provision of RM314 million for impairment of freighter aircraft value.

With stubbornly high fuel prices and with weak global demand for cargo, the Group continues to explore options including joint ventures and/or strategic alliances for MASkargo.

The outlook for 2012 remains challenging for the global aviation sector with both passenger and cargo segments expected to remain weak coupled with rising fuel costs. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects continued cautious business sentiment globally.

Given its financial performance in 2011, Malaysia Airlines is currently finalizing a plan to strengthen its Balance Sheet to increase its cash reserves and funding capacity. The plan includes, but not limited to, debt and/or equity market options. Khazanah Nasional and Tune Air, the two largest shareholders, are supportive of these initiatives. The Company will make further announcements once the funding plan is finalized.

With the funding plan in place, the Group will further progress the implementation of initiatives outlined in its Business Plan announced in December 2011. The Company is confident in meeting the challenges above.

In summing up, the Chairman of Malaysia Airlines, Tan Sri Md Nor Md Yusof said: “The Results make for unpleasant reading. The Company is in crisis. The Board and I remain confident that we now have a team and Business Plan in place that will bring the necessary sacrifices to ensure a turnaround and recovery. And lastly, I am grateful to note the unwavering support of our major shareholders, Khazanah and Tune Air, for our steps moving forward.”

Copyright Photo: Christian Volpati.

Malaysia Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines to drop 7 routes in early 2012 to stem loses

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) will drop the following seven routes in early 2012 from Kuala Lumpur according to its new business plan:

Surabaya (January 6)
Dubai (January 10)
Karachi – Dubai (January 12)
Dubai – Damman (January 13)
Johannesburg (January 31)
Cape Town – Buenos Aires (February 1)
Rome (February 2)

Read the full Business Plan: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Nick Dean.

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 Malaysia Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines unveils a two-part recovery plan, hopes to be profitable in two years

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) today (December 7) unveiled a new business plan to return the Group back to the black by 2013. The changes include shrinking its network and dropping unprofitable routes. Three cities that will be drop include Cape Town, Johannesburg and Buenos Aires.

Malaysia also announced the launch of a new unnamed premium airline to serve regional routes by the second half of 2012. The new subsidiary will operate a fleet of 45 Boeing 737-800s. Eventually this new airline will take over all domestic and regional routes operated by Malaysia.

Read the full statement by the airline: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura.

Malaysia Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Airlines’ first Airbus A380 makes its first flight from Toulouse

Malaysia Airlines’ (Kuala Lumpur) first Airbus A380 made its first flight from Toulouse yesterday (October 20).

Malaysia Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Clement Alloing. Please click on the photo for the aircraft details.

Malaysia Airlines’ reports another quarterly loss

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) reported its second quarterly loss in a row. For the fiscal third quarter ending on June 30, the company reported a net loss of $178 million.

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group.

Malaysia Airlines reports a loss of $177 million in the second quarter

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) reported a net loss of $177 million in the second quarter and warned of a tough year ahead.

Read the full report from Reuters: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best.

AirAsia and Malaysia Airlines in a new share swap

AirAsia (AirAsia.com) (Kuala Lumpur) and Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur), once fierce competitors, can moving closer and preparing to become shareholders in each company.

According to this published report by the China Post, Khazanah Nasional Bhd, which owns about 70 percent of Malaysia Airlines, would get a stake in AirAsia, while Tune Air SDN BHD, which owns 26 percent of AirAsia, would get a 20 percent share of Malaysia Airlines. Tune Air is partly controlled by AirAsia’s CEO Tony Fernandes and another partner.

The intent of this proposed deal is to save financially-challenged Malaysia Airlines.

Read the full report: CLICK HERE

Malaysia Slide Show: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing. Please click on the photo for additional details.

Malaysia Airlines exercises options for 10 additional Boeing 737-800s

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) has exercised 10 options into firm order for additional Boeing 737-800s.

Copyright Photo: Ivan K. Nishimura/Blue Wave Group. Please click on the photo for additional information.

Malaysia Airlines to join the Oneworld Alliance in late 2012

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) has been invited and will join the Oneworld Alliance in late 2012.

The airline issued today the following statement:

“Malaysia Airlines is to join oneworld, adding one of aviation’s most frequent award winners to the world’s leading quality airline alliance.

Malaysia Airlines was unanimously elected a oneworld member designate by the Chief Executives of the alliance’s member airlines, at a meeting on the sidelines of IATA’s 2011 World Air Transport Summit, which opens in Singapore today.

A formal alliance membership agreement will be completed soon.

Malaysia Airlines is expected to start flying as part of oneworld late next year.

As it prepares for its alliance membership, Malaysia Airlines intends to develop bilateral links with a number of oneworld’s established partners, who include some of the biggest and best names in the airline industry. It already code-shares with oneworld partners Cathay Pacific and Royal Jordanian.

When it becomes part of oneworld, its customers will gain access to the alliance’s truly global network. It will expand oneworld’s global coverage to almost 950 destinations in 150 countries, served by a combined fleet of more than 2,600 aircraft operating some 10,000 flights a day and carrying 358 million passengers a year.

Three established oneworld member airlines currently serve Malaysia, with Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Royal Jordanian flying to Kuala Lumpur, and Cathay Pacific also to Penang and, through its Dragonair affiliate, Kota Kinabalu. Opportunities for expanding the alliance’s coverage of the country will be explored as Malaysia Airlines prepares to join.”

Copyright Photo: Antony J. Best. Please click on the photo for additional information about this special logojet.

Malaysia Airlines incurs a first quarter loss of $76 million

Malaysia Airlines (Kuala Lumpur) reported a net loss of $76 million in the first quarter ending on March 31.

The company blamed the loss on the “steep increase in fuel prices and strengthening of the Ringgit”.

Read the full report from the airline: CLICK HERE

Copyright Photo: Michael B. Ing.

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