A US exploration firm was mandated by the Malaysian government on Wednesday to resume search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 aircraft, possibly the last attempt to solve one of the biggest mysteries in aviation history.
The agreement was signed by the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman and Ocean Infinity Limited chief executive officer Oliver Plunkett.
Ocean Infinity will only be paid if it manages to find the aircraft, which is believed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean.
In the initial search for the plane, a 52-day surface search covered an area of several million square kilometers (square miles) in the Indian Ocean west of Australia, before an underwater search mapped 710,000 square kilometers (274,000 square miles) of seabed at depths of up to 6,000 meters (20,000 feet).
After combined efforts by the governments of Australia, China and Malaysia failed to locate the vanished aircraft, the new search will be carried out in a remote stretch of the Indian Ocean west of Australia.
Missing flight MH370 disappeared with 239 people on board on March 8, 2014, while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing after diverting from its flight path.
The Texan company has three months to complete the task, but Malaysia's Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said there is an 85 per cent chance of finding the debris in the new search area.
The search was extremely hard because no transmissions were received from the aircraft after its first 38 minutes of flight.
After almost three years of combing 120,000 sq km of ocean floor without success, the Malaysian, Chinese and Australian governments in January last year made a decision to suspend the search until "credible new information" becomes available.
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.
Picture: Balloons with the name of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 seen during a memorial event.
"In the past, we only had one underwater search vehicle for the search operations but with the technology we have at hand, we hope we can identify the wreckage as soon as possible", he told the media at the press conference.