On 8 March 2014 Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 vanished, with 239 passengers and crew on board the Boeing 777.
Almost three years later, efforts to find the aircraft in a 120,000 square-kilometre underwater search area in the southern Indian Ocean have been officially suspended.
A joint statement from Malaysian Minister of Transport Dato Sri Liow Tiong Lai, the Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester and the People's Republic of China Minister of Transport Li Xiaopeng has confirmed that the search for MH370 will not continue.
"Despite every effort using the best science available, cutting edge technology, as well as modelling and advice from highly skilled professionals who are the best in their field, unfortunately, the search has not been able to locate the aircraft," the official statement reads.
"The decision to suspend the underwater search has not been taken lightly nor without sadness."
The decision to halt the search is consistent with what was promised in July last year - that if the current search proves fruitless, it will be abandoned. No new information has been discovered to determine the specific location of the aircraft, and so the search has been suspended.
The statement highlights the efforts of those involved in the search, and hopes for a future discovery.
We have been overwhelmed by the commitment and dedication shown by the hundreds of people involved in the search, which has been an unprecedented challenge. Their tireless work has continued to improve our knowledge of the search area and has been critical in our efforts to locate the aircraft. We would like to reiterate our utmost appreciation to the many nations that have provided expertise and assistance since the early days of this unfortunate tragedy.
Today’s announcement is significant for our three countries, but more importantly for the family and friends of those on board the aircraft. We again take this opportunity to honour the memory of those who have lost their lives and acknowledge the enormous loss felt by their loved ones.
We remain hopeful that new information will come to light and that at some point in the future the aircraft will be located.
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