PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The Australian official in charge of the two-year search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 believes the plane will be found this year, The Guardian reported.
Mr Martin Dolan, head of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), was quoted as saying that the plane would "very likely" be found in the next four months, as search efforts entered its final phase.
Four ships had scoured more than 85,000sq km of a long but narrow "seventh arc", totalling 120,000 sq km of seafloor.
"We've covered nearly three-quarters of the search area, and since we haven't found the aircraft in those areas, that increases the likelihood that it's in the areas we haven't looked at yet," Mr Dolan told The Guardian.
MH370 vanished on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people onboard, mostly Chinese.
It is thought to have crashed after diverting from its course but a huge undersea hunt in the southern Indian Ocean, led by Australia, has so far found no sign of it.
A wing fragment was discovered on an island thousands of kilometres from the search area last July and later confirmed to be from MH370, the first proof that the plane went down.
Two new pieces of debris have been found in the past week, but it is not yet known if they are from MH370.