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Flight MH370

Analysis and Comment (46)

Malaysia Airlines faces restructuring if it wants to survive. Malaysia Airlines faces restructuring if it wants to survive. EPA/Olaf Kraak

Malaysia Airlines now faces stark choices in a battle to survive

The airline industry has a history of poor financial returns. On a global basis the cost of capital hasn’t been recovered any time in the past 25 years, and in 2014 the industry-wide profit forecast by…
With clear international agreements families of passengers lost to air disasters could be granted some certainty. With clear international agreements families of passengers lost to air disasters could be granted some certainty. Azhar Rahim/EPA/AAP

MH370 cost sharing agreement a chance to avoid future mistakes

More than 100 days on from the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, the search for the plane continues at a mounting cost for all involved, including the Australian government. Last month senior…
The search is over only for the Bluefin-21 underwater probe on board the Australian Navy’s Ocean Shield, now returning to port in WA. The search is over only for the Bluefin-21 underwater probe on board the Australian Navy’s Ocean Shield, now returning to port in WA. EPA/Chris Beerens/Australian Defence Department

Time to search deeper in the ocean for missing flight MH370

The search for missing flight MH370 isn’t over in the Southern Indian Ocean – it’s just going deeper in an attempt to cover the ocean floor over a much wider area. Much of the search effort so far has…
The Australian defence vessel Ocean Shield is returning from the Southern Indian Ocean search area after the final search by Bluefin-21. The Australian defence vessel Ocean Shield is returning from the Southern Indian Ocean search area after the final search by Bluefin-21. AAP Image/Australian Defence Department

Not the real ping – so what now for missing flight MH370?

Another phase of the search for missing flight MH370 off Western Australia has drawn to a close with still no evidence of the aircraft’s final resting place. It comes as reports from the US say the four…
Malaysia Airlines is still in business, but is rethinking its business model. Malaysia Airlines is still in business, but is rethinking its business model. ailing_/Flickr

A season on from MH370, how is Malaysia Airlines doing?

Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared on March 8, 2014, almost three months ago. Despite comprehensive, almost unprecedented search operations involving dozens of states, the aircraft, or what remains…
Subs can sneak into Diego Garcia, but what about a plane? Subs can sneak into Diego Garcia, but what about a plane? US Navy

Even if MH370 is found, it is too late to stop conspiracy theories

In Italy, the word dietrologia, literally “behindology”, expresses the idea of a search for hidden secrets, and the exposure of secret plots. The main characters are usually the Mafia, politicians, the…
The missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft pictured in 2013. The missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft pictured in 2013. Flickr/Paul Rowbotham

Would real-time tracking have helped missing flight MH370?

The introduction of constant tracking of commercial aircraft during the whole journey has been raised by Malaysian authorities in a preliminary report into missing flight MH370. It’s been two months now…
Relatives of the missing passengers on flight MH370 march on the Malaysian embassy in Beijing. Relatives of the missing passengers on flight MH370 march on the Malaysian embassy in Beijing. EPA/Rolex dela Pena

Sino-Malaysian friendship will defy public fallout from flight MH370

“Visit Malaysia Year 2014” was expected to bolster Malaysia’s growing Chinese tourism market: Malaysia’s third-largest. Last October, commemorating four decades of close relations, Chinese president Xi…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has committed Australia to continue to search for flight MH370. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has committed Australia to continue to search for flight MH370. Lukas Coch/AAP

Who will bear the $60m cost of the search for MH370?

As the search for the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines MH370 moves into a different phase, a new, delicate issue arises: who will pay? On Monday, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott acknowledged that “thus…
With the search for MH370 wreckage moving to under the ocean, the question of legal liability also moves closer. With the search for MH370 wreckage moving to under the ocean, the question of legal liability also moves closer. AAP/EPA/Leut Kelli Lunt/Australian Department of Defence

Will Malaysia Airlines be liable for compensation for MH370?

While Malaysia Airlines continues to provide welfare and support to the families of the passengers of MH370, compensation will soon become a priority. However, just what Malaysia Airlines' legal liability…
An unmanned Bluefin-21 of the type used in the underwater search for MH370. An unmanned Bluefin-21 of the type used in the underwater search for MH370. EPA/Leut Kelli Lunt/Australian Department of Defense

Searching underwater for MH370 is a shot in the dark

The ongoing search for missing flight MH370 has shown how finding objects such as debris on the ocean is difficult, but finding them underwater in the deep ocean is much more challenging. As of Tuesday…
Inside an early version of the black box flight recorder. Inside an early version of the black box flight recorder. DSTO

The black box: an Australian invention that nearly didn’t happen

The search operation for missing flight MH370 continues to hear signals that could be from the plane’s black box recorders. It’s only when those recorders are recovered that investigators will be able…
The Black Box flight data recorders from the 2005 fatal aircraft accident near Lockhart River, Qld, arrive at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Canberra. The Black Box flight data recorders from the 2005 fatal aircraft accident near Lockhart River, Qld, arrive at the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Canberra. AAP/News Ltd/Ray Strange

What a black box can tell us about missing flight MH370

As the search continues for wreckage from the missing Malaysia Airlines plane it’s probable that answers surrounding the mystery of flight MH370 will not be available until the recorders are recovered…
We need more detailed information to adequately track planes. We need more detailed information to adequately track planes. Robert Couse-Baker

MH370 should make us rethink how we monitor planes

Search ships may be honing in on the black box from missing Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 after weeks of searching. But whether they are successful or not, the difficulty they have encountered along…
The oceans are filled with garbage. Who’s in charge of the cleanup? The oceans are filled with garbage. Who’s in charge of the cleanup? cesar harada/Flickr

Whose job is it to clear up all the rubbish floating in the oceans?

I was in the middle of giving a talk on the marine debris problem at a notable Californian marine research institute, when I drank the last of my water bottle, threw it onto the hall floor from the podium…
Debris or not debris? Floating rubbish could hamper the search for MH370. Debris or not debris? Floating rubbish could hamper the search for MH370. AAP Image/AP Pool, Kim Christian

The difficulty of searching for MH370 in a giant rubbish patch

Frustratingly, the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has turned up many floating objects, but none of them are from the plane. That’s largely because the latest search area is likely to…
Chinese anger at Malaysia’s handling of the search for flight MH370 has had a damaging impact on the bilateral relationship. Chinese anger at Malaysia’s handling of the search for flight MH370 has had a damaging impact on the bilateral relationship. EPA/Kamal Sellehuddin

The diplomatic fallout from flight MH370 reveals a region on edge

When Malaysian Airlines flight 370 failed to arrive, authorities at first concluded it had crashed in a relatively shallow part of the Gulf of Thailand. As the days passed more countries dispatched ships…
Australian Navy vessel Ocean Shield left Perth yesterday to join the search for missing flight MH370 and its black box flight recorders. Australian Navy vessel Ocean Shield left Perth yesterday to join the search for missing flight MH370 and its black box flight recorders. AAP/Tim Clarke

Under the deep blue ocean: the search for MH370’s black box

As the effort to find Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 moves inexorably towards the recovery stage, the challenge of finding the plane’s flight recorder (called the “black box” even though it’s actually…
Maths can help in the hunt for MH370. Maths can help in the hunt for MH370. EPA/Australian Department of Defence

How statistics can help in the mission to find MH370

That the Malaysian government, with the help of the UK’s INMARSAT, was able to dramatically narrow down the search area for flight MH370, made it seem much more likely that the wreckage of the plane might…
When AF447 went missing in the Atlantic, Air France was able to salvage its reputation. When AF447 went missing in the Atlantic, Air France was able to salvage its reputation. EPA

Malaysia Airlines failed the crisis test, now it faces a battle to regain trust

It is often said that the true test of a business is how well it copes with crisis and adversity. If that is so, then Malaysia Airlines has spectacularly failed the test. The airline’s share price has…
The government of Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak (pictured centre) has come under fire for its handling of the MH370 disaster. The government of Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak (pictured centre) has come under fire for its handling of the MH370 disaster. EPA/Ahmad Yusni

Malaysian government tested in a situation it can’t control

In the latest press conference on missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has said there is sufficient evidence that the airliner crashed in a remote part of the Indian…
A Japanese P-3 Orion involved in the search for missing flight MH370. A Japanese P-3 Orion involved in the search for missing flight MH370. EPA/Paul Kane

Confirming debris is of MH370 will start a new phase of the search

As the search resumes for any debris in the southern Indian Ocean today air crash investigators still need to find proof it could be wreckage from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. Confirming the debris…
After two weeks, any floating debris could be hundreds of miles from the wreck. After two weeks, any floating debris could be hundreds of miles from the wreck. Richard Wainwright/EPA

Recovering MH370 will be difficult in a complex, unforgiving ocean

It has been confirmed that the Malaysia Airlines plane that disappeared on March 8 crashed into the southern Indian Ocean. It would be hard to choose a more complicated region of the ocean to be searching…
Plenty of questions on what happened to flight MH370 but patience needed in any investigation. Plenty of questions on what happened to flight MH370 but patience needed in any investigation. AAP Image/Getty Images Pool, Paul Kane

Keep calm and carry on – don’t rush the investigation of MH370

Air crash investigators on flight MH370 will need to counter the public demand for a quick answer as they begin the long-term safety analysis. What happened to the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 will likely…
A room in Beijing reserved for relatives of those on MH370. A room in Beijing reserved for relatives of those on MH370. Ng Han Guan/AP

Flight MH370 confirmed lost: experts respond

Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has confirmed that Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 crashed in the southern Indian Ocean, with no survivors. In a press conference, Razak said new information proved…
Countries' anxiety about revealing their intelligence capabilities makes them loath to share the results of surveillance even for life-and-death searches. Countries' anxiety about revealing their intelligence capabilities makes them loath to share the results of surveillance even for life-and-death searches. AAP/NEWZULU/Zaki Zulfadhli

The Ultra Syndrome: did it hamper the search for flight MH370?

Ultra was the Allies' name for highly classified intelligence information obtained during World War Two by breaking encrypted enemy radio communications. “It was thanks to Ultra that we won the war,” Winston…
Air and sea search for missing flight MH370 in one of the most volatile oceans. Air and sea search for missing flight MH370 in one of the most volatile oceans. AAP/AP/Rob Griffith

Why locating MH370 in the Southern Ocean is so difficult

Searching for the debris of flight MH370 in the Southern Ocean is not just a case of looking for a needle in a haystack; it is a case of searching for a needle that moves hundreds of kilometres every day…
Malaysia Airlines' comms strategy should be grounded. Malaysia Airlines' comms strategy should be grounded. Andy Mitchell

Government links complicate Malaysia Airlines' crisis response

Even as we learn more about the disappearance of flight MH370, there is still a huge amount to find out about what went wrong. There is no evidence to suggest that the cause of the airplane’s disappearance…
Australia’s maritime search and rescue zone covers a vast area. Australia’s maritime search and rescue zone covers a vast area. AMSA/AAP

The law of the sea and commercial ships in the search for MH370

The first ship to reach the area of Indian ocean being searched for the missing flight MH370 is the Norwegian commercial car carrier, the Höegh St Petersburg. At the request of the Australian Maritime…
An RAAF pilot steers his AP-3C Orion over the Southern Indian Ocean during the search for MH370. An RAAF pilot steers his AP-3C Orion over the Southern Indian Ocean during the search for MH370. AAP/Department of Defence, Sergeant Hamish Paterson.

After flight MH370 is found, what happens next?

Once any wreckage is found, then begins the slow process of trying to find out how Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 ended up where it did. Authorities are still searching for signs of any objects seen about…
Few of us understand what happens when the doors are closed for take off. Few of us understand what happens when the doors are closed for take off. EPA/Mak Remissa

If MH370 was sabotage, look to the organisation for answers

As authorities rush to a remote corner of the southern Indian Ocean to identify wreckage that could be part of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, speculation remains as to whether its disappearance…
Still no signal. Still no signal. EPA/Luong Thai Linh

If we’d used the cloud, we might know where MH370 is now

As the biggest ever hunt for a missing plane continues, many are beginning to wonder if we will ever know what happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. If the plane has crashed, it has been suggested…
A child looks on at Kuala Lumpur International Airport as the wait and search for the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight continues. A child looks on at Kuala Lumpur International Airport as the wait and search for the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370 flight continues. AAP/Newzulu/Safiyan Salim

Coping with the trauma of missing flight MH370

It’s been ten days since missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The search is continuing over a wide area, with Australia now taking the lead over the…
The picture so far as the crowd springs into action. The picture so far as the crowd springs into action. Google Earth

Crowdsourcing hunt for MH370 extends to millions of sq miles

The hunt for MH370 now involves 26 countries and an estimated 30 million square miles of terrain over both land and sea. The missing aeroplane may have continued flying for up to seven hours after sending…
Bewildered and beset: a relative faces the media. Bewildered and beset: a relative faces the media. AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin

Flight MH370 – why does the media show relatives who are in emotional turmoil?

The scenes in Kuala Lumpur are harrowing. While desperate relatives wait for news, seemingly callous reporters crowd around them, taking photographs, filming tears and thrusting microphones into their…
Security authorities face a huge challenge to detect whether documents used by air passengers are genuine. Security authorities face a huge challenge to detect whether documents used by air passengers are genuine. Diana Parkhouse/Flickr

The global passport security loophole: how serious is it?

The search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared close to a week ago, is yet to find any conclusive trace of the missing aircaft. But the revelation that two Iranian passengers on the flight…
Volunteers are trawling satellite imagery in the hope of finding the wreckage of MH370. Volunteers are trawling satellite imagery in the hope of finding the wreckage of MH370. EPA

Volunteers and algorithms need training to find MH370

It has been nearly a week since flight Malaysia Airlines MH370 disappeared some time after taking off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Despite searches led by the Malaysian authorities, there is…
Images released by China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense that it says are three large floating objects in an area where missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 vanished. Images released by China’s State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense that it says are three large floating objects in an area where missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 vanished. AAP/SASTIND

Can satellites help find missing flight MH370?

China has released several satellite images its officials say could be wreckage from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with 239 people onboard. If they are proved to be true it shows how remote…
Interpol says one billion passengers travel without proper identity checks. Interpol says one billion passengers travel without proper identity checks. EPA/Barbara Walton

Flight MH370 and the desperate demand for false passports

It has emerged that two of the passengers on the missing flight MH370 were travelling on stolen passports. Initially this was thought to suggest that terrorism might be involved in the disappearance, but…
Singapore Navy’s in the hunt for missing flight MH370 as part of the international search effort. Singapore Navy’s in the hunt for missing flight MH370 as part of the international search effort. EPA/Republic of Singapore Navy

Air crash investigation: how the search for flight MH370 is run

The longer it takes, the harder it gets to find the lost Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Spotting small objects floating on the surface of the water is a tough task after any air crash. But the more any…
More than 100 vessels and aircraft from eight countries looking for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared on Saturday with 239 people on board. More than 100 vessels and aircraft from eight countries looking for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared on Saturday with 239 people on board. EPA/Ahman Yusni

Why some air crash investigations remain mysteries of the deep

The missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has some similarities to the disappearance of Pan Am flight 944, which disappeared into the Pacific Ocean almost 50 years ago. Late in the afternoon of November…
Looking for flight MH370. Looking for flight MH370. EPA/Malaysian Maritime Agency

What could have happened to flight MH370?

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 – with 239 people on board – is unusual in that two days after the plane lost communication there is no reliable evidence of debris. No radio calls were…
So many questions but few answers for Malaysia Airlines. So many questions but few answers for Malaysia Airlines. EPA/AHMAD YUSNI

Clock is ticking on Malaysia Airlines in crisis management

For Malaysia Airlines, every hour counts as it deals with the loss of flight MH370 with 227 passengers and 12 crew on-board. The first 48 hours of a crisis are the most critical for an organisation as…