MH370 Search: Malaysia signs contract with US firm to find missing plane

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Malaysia has officially signed a USD 50 million deal with a United States firm to trace the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft MH370. “It is my hope that we will find the answer that we seek for nearly four years and bring some closure to this unfortunate incident,” Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong said while speaking at the press conference. The Ocean Infinity Chief Executive Oliver Plunkett said that the search operation will commence on January 17.

Even though Malaysia has signed a 70 million dollars deal with Ocean Infinity on Wednesday, it said that the company will be paid only if it finds the missing flight or the recorders. The Boeing Co. 777 aircraft gone missing on March 8, 2014, less than an hour following it took off from Kuala Lumpur airport with 239 people on board. The company will begin search operation in a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean west of Australia. The past operations by governments of Australia, China, and Malaysia failed to find the missing plane. Malaysia concluded a 200 million dollars search deal on an area of 120,000 square kilometers last year despite the requests to extend the search area to 25,000 square kilometers to the north.

The Ocean Infinity will find 25,000 square kilometers area on a “no-cure, no fee” basis, which means that it will be paid only if they succeed in finding the plane. “As we speak, the vessel, Seabed Constructor, is on her way to the search area, taking advantage of favorable weather conditions in the South Indian ocean,” Liow said in a statement. He said that the company will be paid 20 million dollars if the place is located within 500 sq km area, 30 million dollars if found within 10,000 sq km, 50 million if found within 25,000 sq km area and 70 million dollars if the plane is being located beyond 25,000 sq km area.

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