SEPANG, March 15 ― Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is in two possible corridors that span from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Thailand in one and Indonesia to the south of the Indian Ocean in the other, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak revealed today.
The prime minister said new information showed that while the transponders and Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) were turned off shortly into the flight, MH370 made a final satellite communication at 8.11am on March 8, nearly eight hours after it departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
“Based on this new data, the aviation authorities of Malaysia and their international counterparts have determined that the plane’s last communication with the satellite was in one of two possible corridors,” Najib said at a press conference at the Sama-Sama Hotel here today.
The first was a northern corridor stretching from the borders of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to northern Thailand, with a second southern corridor ranging from Indonesia to the south of the Indian Ocean.
“Investigators are working to further refine the data to locate the aircraft,” he said.
Earlier, the prime minister confirmed the plane with 239 onboard was taken off course through “deliberate action”, but maintained that a hijacking was only one of the possibilities still being pursued.
With the latest information, Najib said the search effort in the South China Sea will now be called off and the assets re-deployed after consulting with data and assisting nations.
“This new satellite information has a significant impact on the nature and scope of the search operation.
“We are ending our operations in the South China Sea and reassessing the redeployment of our assets,” Najib said.
The waters between Malaysia and China was where the bulk of search efforts have been concentrated, given previous information that MH370 lost contact with ground control 120km off Kelantan’s coast.
The area was also the site of the most sightings of “debris” and oil slicks thought to be from MH370 but all later turned out to be false alarms.