Private search for MH370 concluding

A private search by a US firm for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which went missing in 2014 in one of the world’s biggest aviation mysteries, will end Tuesday, Malaysian Transport Minister Anthony Loke said on Wednesday.

Flight MH370, carrying 239 people, disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014.

Malaysia had agreed in January to pay Houston-based Ocean Infinity up to $70 million if it found the plane during a 90-day search in the southern Indian Ocean.

The hunt for the Boeing 777 was previously expected to end in June, as the 90-day agreement did not cover time taken for refuelling and resupplying search vessel Seabed Constructor.

However, Ocean Infinity had finished scouring its targeted search area in April and had requested an extension until May 29, Loke said.

“This morning I raised this (request) in cabinet and we agreed to extend to May 29,” he told reporters in Putrajaya, Malaysia’s administrative capital. Newly elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad had earlier said Malaysia would review and possibly end its agreement with Ocean Infinity, amid other moves to cut government spending.