KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysia on Thursday made public a report on Flight MH370 and other data in its most extensive release of information on the airliner yet, albeit one which contained no new clues on what happened to the missing plane.
The brief five-page report dated April 9, which was submitted earlier to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), was mostly a recap of information that had already been released over time.
It contained no major revelations in what remains one of the greatest mysteries in aviation history.
“Over a month after the aircraft departed Kuala Lumpur International Airport, its location is still unknown,” the report said.
The Malaysia Airlines flight vanished March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people aboard.
It is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean, but a massive search for wreckage has been fruitless.
The information release was accompanied by audio recordings of verbal exchanges between the cockpit of the jet and air traffic controllers, and documents pertaining to the cargo manifest.
The collected information also recapped exchanges between the flag carrier and confused Malaysian, Vietnamese and Cambodian air-traffic controllers as they sought to determine what happened to the plane after it disappeared from primary radar over the South China Sea at 1:21 a.m. on March 8.
The main report is required by the ICAO within 30 days of a crash, and Malaysian authorities have confirmed it was submitted on time.
However, they waited another three weeks before releasing the brief document, with Prime Minister Najib Razak saying last week he wanted it to be reviewed first by an “internal” team of experts.
Also on Thursday Malaysia Airlines advised relatives of passengers who were aboard Flight 370 to move out of hotels and return home to wait for news on the search for the missing plane.
Since the Boeing 777 disappeared, the airline has been putting the relatives up in hotels, where they’ve been briefed on the search. But the airline said in a statement Thursday that it would close its family assistance centers around the world by May 7, and that the families should receive search updates from “the comfort of their own homes.”
The airline said that it would establish family support centers in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing, and that it would keep in close touch with the relatives through means including phone calls and meetings.
Malaysia Airlines also said it would soon make advanced compensation payments to the relatives. Most of the 227 passengers were Chinese.
No wreckage from the plane has been found, and an aerial search for surface debris ended Monday after six weeks of fruitless hunting. An unmanned sub is continuing to search underwater in an area of the southern Indian Ocean where sounds consistent with a plane’s black box were detected in early April. Additional equipment is expected to be brought in within the next few weeks to scour an expanded underwater area.
The head of the search effort has predicted that the search could drag on for as long as a year.