Malaysia says it will pay US company Ocean Infinity up to $70 million if it can find the wreckage or black boxes of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 within three months.
Several pieces of debris confirmed to have been from the missing aircraft have been found by members of the public on the African coast and islands in the Indian Ocean.
The two parties sealed the "no cure, no fee" deal wherein the US firm will scour a new search area covering 25,000 square kilometers in the southern Indian Ocean beginning mid-January.
The conditions of the reward are US$20 million (RM82 million) for the 5,000 square kilometres primary search area, US$30 million (RM122 million) for the subsequent 10,000 square kilometre secondary search area, US$50 million (RM205 million) for the subsequent 10,000 square kilometre tertiary search area, and US$70 million (RM285 million) for any additional supplementary search areas beyond 25,000 square kilometres.
When asked about the decision to re-launch the search operations, Liow said the move was made based on expert views on the high probability of finding the wreckage in the new search area.More news: Trump to Take `America First' Message to Global Elite in Davos
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The official search was extremely hard because no transmissions were received from the aircraft after its first 38 minutes of flight. He said his government was committed to continuing with the search. Systems created to automatically transmit the flight's position failed to work after this point, said a final report from Australian Transport Safety Board last January.
"It is my hope that we will find the answer that we seek for almost four years and bring some closure to this unfortunate incident", he added. It was suspended last January.
He also thanked the Malaysian government for not giving up hope of finding the missing jetliner and continuously offering support as well as information regarding MH370.
The Norwegian research vessel known as the Seabed Constructor is already on its way to the area identified by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) as the most likely crash site.
Investigators believe MH370 headed south over the Indian Ocean for about six hours before plummeting into the water. The search operation became the costliest in aviation history.