Kuala Lumpur has entered an 'no-find, no fee' agreement with seabed exploration firm Ocean Infinity to resume the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.
The plan to resume the search in the Indian Ocean was disclosed in a statement by Darren Chester, Australia's minister for infrastructure and transport.
"The Malaysian Government is entering into an agreement with Ocean Infinity, to search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370," he says.
"The Malaysian Government has accepted an offer from Ocean Infinity to search for the missing plane, entering into a ‘no find no fee’ arrangement. Malaysia’s decision to proceed with the search shows the commitment to find MH370."
The statement says that Ocean Infinity will look for the lost Boeing 777-200ER in yet unsearched area where it is believed the aircraft could be. Canberra will provide technical assistance for the effort.
No timeframe for when the search will start was provided, and FlightGlobal was unable to obtain a comment from the Malaysian government on the Ocean Infinity deal.
A two-year long underwater search funded jointly by the Australian, Malaysian and Chinese governments for the aircraft formally ended on 17 January.
On 3 October, the Australia Transport Safety Bureau's final report on MH370 stated that the possibility of finding the aircraft are "better now than it has ever been."
"The underwater search has eliminated most of the high probability areas yielded by reconstructing the aircraft’s flight path and the debris drift studies conducted in the past 12 months have identified the most likely area with increasing precision. Re-analysis of satellite imagery taken on 23 March 2014 in an area close to the 7th arc has identified a range of objects which may be MH370 debris."
This suggests an area of less than 25,000km² that has the "highest likelihood of containing MH370."
The 777-200ER was operating a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on 8 March 2014 when it mysteriously turned back over the Gulf of Thailand, and made its way to the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean, via the Straits of Malacca. There were 239 passengers and crew aboard.