Australia, China, Malaysia set to decide future of MH370 search operation within fortnight

Melbourne, March 30 (ANI): Key ministers from Australia, Malaysia and China are set to meet in a fortnight to take a call on whether the search for MH370 should go on.

The tripartite meeting in Kuala Lumpur will consider the feasibility of expanding the current search operation in the southern Indian Ocean, where the Boeing 777 aircraft is believed to have crashed, reported News.com.au.

Other alternatives remain unclear as the authorities insist that they are looking in the right place for the crashed aircraft.

About two-thirds of the Federal Government's budget allocated for the search operation is yet to be spent, leaving a sizeable sum for further probe into the plane's disappearance.

Government allocated a total of 89.9 million dollars for the search operation in last year's budget. However, only 30 million dollars have been spent so far.

A spokesman for Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said that the final bill would depend on a variety of factors "including the outcome of procurement processes for specialist services and the length of the search."

He added that the meeting will decide the next step if MH370 wreckage is not found in the primary search area.

As the search operation entered its sixth month, more than half of the 60,000 square kilometre search zone has been scoured by vessels towing sensitive underwater sonar scan equipment. However, no trace of the plane has been found so far.

The Malaysia Airlines' flight disappeared on March 8, 2014 after going offcourse less than an hour into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. (ANI)