As it happened: Search for MH370 shifts north

Key points

  • Five planes spot unidentified objects in a new area of the Indian Ocean being searched for flight MH370
  • The search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane has moved 1,100km to the north-east of the previous area
  • Australian officials say this is a "credible lead" based on updated advice provided by the international investigation team in Malaysia
  • The Kuala Lumpur-Beijing airliner disappeared on 8 March with 239 people on board
  • The plane is presumed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean with no survivors
  • All times GMT

Live text

Reporting:

  • Joe Boyle 
  • Amber Dawson 
  • Jastinder Khera 
  • Amee Enriquez 
  • Alison Daye 
  • Helier Cheung 

STANDARD 02:34

Welcome to our live page on the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

STANDARD 02:35

The plane went missing on 8 March as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with 239 passengers on board. It is now believed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean.

STANDARD 02:39

Searchers had until today been focussing on an area some 2,500km (1,550 miles) from the Australian city of Perth.

STANDARD 02:40

But early on Friday Australian officials announced that search efforts would shift 1,100km north-east, after what they described as a "credible lead".

STANDARD 02:44

The lead is based on radar data analysis, which indicated the plane was travelling faster than previously estimated, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (Amsa) says in a statement.

STANDARD 02:49

This would have resulted in increased fuel usage, reducing the possible distance the aircraft travelled south into the Indian Ocean, Amsa adds.

STANDARD 02:55

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), Australia's investigation agency, has examined this new information and described it as "the most credible lead to where debris may be located".

STANDARD 03:01

The new search area is around 319,000 sq km (123,000 sq miles), and is located around 1,850 km (1,150 miles) west of Perth, Amsa says.

STANDARD 03:06

Australia says it has re-tasked satellites to take images of the new search area. It is not clear if the new information means that previous satellite sightings of objects in the sea are no longer relevant to the search.

STANDARD 03:09

Royal New Zealand Air force Flight Lt Stephen Graham walks around their P-3C Orion in Perth, Australia, 27 March 2014

Ten aircraft will take part in Friday's search for signs of the missing plane. These include a Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion, pictured here.