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New Zealand and Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

On Saturday, 8 March 2014 Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 departed from Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 00:42 am (MYT) and was expected to arrive in Beijing at 6:30 am (MYT). The Boeing 777-200ER was carrying 12 crew and 227 passengers. Communication with the aircraft was lost when it was in the vicinity of waypoint IGARI over the South China Sea. Instead of proceeding toward Vietnam en-route to China 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.

Two New Zealanders and six Australians were on board flight MH370. One of the New Zealanders had moved to Australia so his family was living there when MH370 went missing.

The initial search for MH370 began in the South China Sea, east of Malaysia, and continued until 15th March. However, a concurrent search was conducted west of the Malay Peninsula, covering areas in the Strait of Malacca, Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal, and West of Sumatra. New Zealand joined Australia and ten other countries contributing to this stage of the search for MH370.

Later, as the focus shifted to the southern Indian Ocean, New Zealand continued to provide aircraft and contributed to the surface search for MH370.