"Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight March 8."
Canberra, June 20 - The search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will revert to an area hundreds of kilometres south of the previously suspected crash site following new analysis of the plane's path.
The search will focus on an area 1,800 km west off Perth when an underwater probe commences in August, the West Australian said Friday.
Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is leading the international search, confirmed the area of highest probability would be further south.
Nearby areas were previously surveyed, but the undersea hunt was directed north after pings were heard.
According to the Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), the MH370 search team is responding to a series of electronic signals between the missing plane and a satellite operated by British company Inmarsat.
Satellite data suggests that the aircraft turned south across the Indian Ocean after flying near the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
This information remains the best lead that investigators have in trying to find the plane, Angus Houston, chief of search operation, said.
The JACC Wednesday said in a statement that the Australian-contracted survey vessel Fugro Equator commenced operations in a defined search area. Chinese PLA-Navy ship Zhu Kezhen is also undertaking survey activities.
These ships will map the seabed, which is up to 6000 mts deep, also a underwater sonar search would be conducted using a new towed vehicle, more technologically advanced than the underwater vehicle Bluefin-21 which was used earlier in the search operations.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 vanished mysteriously about an hour after taking off for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight March 8.
The Boeing 777-200ER was scheduled to land in Beijing the same morning. The 227 passengers on board included five Indians, 154 Chinese and 38 Malaysians.