Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 may have turned south earlier than previously thought, Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss says.
As a result, the search will focus on a 60,000-sq-km patch of seabed, some 1,600 km from Perth.
Truss told reporters the new information was based in part on an attempt to map the position of the plane at the time of a failed satellite call by Malaysia Airlines on the ground to the jetliner.
“The search area remains the same but some of the areas, some of the information we now have suggests to us that areas a little further to the south – within the search area, but a little further to the south – may be of particular interest and priority in the search area.”
Australia has set aside around 60 million euros for the search, making it the most expensive ever undertaken. Malaysia has announced it will share the cost for the latest phase of the search, which is due to begin at the end of September 2014 and could take up to a year.
The disappearance of the Boeing 777 on March 8 2014 is one of the greatest mysteries in modern aviation history. Ground staff lost contact with the plane shortly after it took off from the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing. 239 passengers and crew were on board.
It was the first of two lost Malaysia Airlines planes in 2014. Flight MH17 was shot down in July over a conflict zone in eastern Ukraine.