Search for MH370 covers area larger than Australia

THE desperate search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with 239 passengers and crew on board – including four Queenslanders and a couple from Sydney – now collectively covers an area larger than the entire Australian continent.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday evening, acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the search area now spans 7.7 million square kilometres – Australia’s landmass is around 7.6 million square kilometres.

As the search enters its 12th day, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) yesterday identified a new search area more than 600,000 square kilometres in size in the southern Indian Ocean, more than 3000km southwest of Perth.


AMSA Emergency Response Division General Manager John Young told reporters the search was like looking for “a needle in a haystack”.

He said the passage of time and movement of the water in the world’s third-deepest ocean would make it constantly difficult.

A further three Australian Orion aircraft will today join the AP-3C already sweeping the search area. They will be joined by a New Zealand Orion and a US Poseidon aircraft.

RAAF Orion

Royal Australia Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft.

Planes will be searching for any signs of floating debris, including several tons of mangosteens, a purple tropical fruit believed to have been on board the passenger jet at the time it disappeared on Saturday, March 8.


Mangosteens, a purple tropical fruit mainly grown in Southeast Asia.

An unprecedented twenty-six countries are now involved in the mammoth search.