LONDON: Inmarsat, a British satellite telecommunications provider and the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) have concluded that the missing Malaysian Airlines flight went down in the southern Indian Ocean near Perth “with no possible landing sites”.
Almost 16 days after MH 370 disappeared, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced on Monday that the London based satellite company Inmarsat had tracked the final trajectory of the airline and “it is with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean”.
The prime minister said that Inmarsat had used the most advanced technology available to confirm that the airline had been in the air almost eight hours after it was believed that it had crashed.
Inmarsat had earlier announced that the ill-fated aircraft sent out “keep-alive messages” establishing that the plane’s communications system were still switched on — hours after civilian radars lost contact with it.
Inmarsat said the missing plane was equipped with one of its signalling systems which actually sent out a barrage of messages much after it was lost to the world.
Razak said Inmarsat used a “type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort”.
Inmarsat’s calculations concluded that the airline flew along the southern corridor and its last position was in middle of the Indian Ocean, west of Perth.
“This is a remote location far from any possible landing sites,” the prime minister added.
Speaking to TOI, AAIB confirmed that it had briefed prime minister Razak and that it was involved in the investigations.
Inmarsat meanwhile refused to specify exactly how many such messages it picked up from the aircraft and what precise time.
The company had said it was sharing all the details with the investigative agencies across the world which is trying to locate the plane.
It is believed that the British intelligence agencies MI5 and MI6 have also been briefed about the latest finding.
Malaysian Airlines says it now has to assume “beyond any reasonable doubt” that missing flight has been lost and there are no survivors.
The announcement came in a text message sent to families of those on board.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, with 239 people on board, went missing after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on March 8.
In a statement issued last week, Immarsat had said “Routine, automated signals were registered on the Inmarsat network from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 during its flight from Kuala Lumpur. This information was provided to our partner SITA, which in turn has shared it with Malaysia Airlines”.
Inmarsat is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. It provides reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air.
Experts say the information from Inmarsat could prove to be a valuable break in the frustrating search for the plane with 239 people aboard that mysteriously vanished from radar screens last week.