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The People's Republic of China and Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

On Saturday, 8 March 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 00:42 (MYT). The aircraft, a Boeing 777-200ER was carrying 12 crew and 227 passengers. The flight was expected to arrive in Beijing at 6:30 am (MYT). As the aircraft was approaching waypoint IGARI over the South China Sea, air traffic controllers advised MH370 to contact the controllers in Vietnam. That contact was never made; the aircraft made a turn-back west across the Malay Peninsula; changed direction again and flew north west towards the Andaman Sea; and then turned south. Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

One hundred and fifty-three passengers on-board were Chinese. Many of these passengers had booked their seats on a China Southern Airlines flight CZ748. The two airlines were code-share partners.

Information about the flight was sparse. The only information that Malaysia Airlines could supply was that communication with the aircraft had been lost. Unlike most previous aircraft disasters there was no distress message; the location of the aircraft was not known; the reason for a loss of communication was not known; and it took time for the passenger manifest to be confirmed and released.

The initial search area was in the South China Sea and China sent two aircraft and seven ships to search East of Malaysia.

Chinese experts became members of a Joint Investigation Team including experts from Malaysia and other countries.

China continued its involvement in the search, west of Malaysia, and then in the southern Indian Ocean.

The Government of the People's Republic of China entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the governments of Malaysia and Australia, forming a Tripartite and a cost sharing arrangement. China made a significant contribution to the cost of the underwater search for the aircraft.

The Civil Aviation Administration of the People’s Republic of China has an Accredited Representative as a Member of an independent international Investigation Team known as The Malaysian ICAO Annex 13 Safety Investigation Team for MH370.


Index of articles related to China and Flight MH370

Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC)

Chinese Media coverage of Flight MH370