Vietnam says it told Malaysia that missing plane MH370 had turned back

Vietnam said on Wednesday that it had noticed that the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 had turned back towards the west last Saturday and had informed Malaysian authorities the same day but received no response.

The revelations, reported by The Malaysian Insider website, came as the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines jet swung northwest towards the Andaman Sea on Wednesday, far from its intended flight path.

"We informed Malaysia on the day we lost contact with the flight that we noticed the flight turned back west but Malaysia did not respond," Vietnam deputy minister of transport Pham Quy Tieu was quoted as saying by AFP today.

"We've asked Malaysian authorities twice, but so far they have not replied to us," Mr Tieu said, when asked about a report that the plane had been detected over the Strait of Malacca.

Vietnam on Wednesday scaled back its efforts to locate flight MH370, which was carrying 239 passengers and crew, on the South China Sea where the jet last made contact on a journey between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.