PUTRAJAYA, Oct 20 – Malaysia is poised to negotiate terms with United States-based seabed exploration outfit, ‘Ocean Infinity’ to begin a new search for the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 jetliner which vanished in 2014. Department of Civil Aviation Director-General Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said the Malaysian Government had given permission to the MH370 Response Team to proceed to negotiate the terms and conditions with ‘Ocean Infinity’.
Azharuddin, who heads the MH370 Response Team said the team had received several proposals from interested parties to locate the missing aircraft and that included an offer by ‘Ocean Infinity’ on a ‘No Cure No Fee’ basis. “These offers have been thoroughly assessed by the response team,” he said, adding that the governments of Australia and China had been informed of the development in line with the spirit of tripartite cooperation.
Azharuddin stressed that at this juncture, the Malaysian Government had yet to arrive at an agreement with ‘Ocean Infinity’ in the search for Flight MH370, as widely reported in the media recently. Once the negotiation was completed and the terms and conditions agreed upon with the ‘Ocean Infinity’, he said the Malaysian Government would seek an agreement from the governments of Australia and China to proceed with the search for Flight MH370, in the spirit of tripartite cooperation.
“An official announcement will then be made towards this effect once all next-of-kin and families of those on board Flight MH370 have been notified,” he said. Flight MH370 disappeared while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. It had 239 passengers and crew members on board. Australia, China and Malaysia, which jointly coordinated and funded the search operation, had in January suspended the search for MH370 when traces of the Boeing 777 could not be found in the 120,000 sq km search area of the southern Indian Ocean. — Bernama