Australian, Malaysian ministers thank MH370 search crews hinh anh 1A team investigate a piece of debris found in the Indian Ocean. (Photo: Australian Transport Safety Bureau)

Hanoi (VNA) – The transport ministers of Malaysia and Australia have thanked the Fugro Equator vessel crew for their searching efforts for the missing MH370 flight over the past three years.

After the suspension of the underwater search for the aircraft last week, Australia Transport Minister Darren Chester and his Malaysian counterpart Liow Tong Lai had a meeting with the crew in Perth, Western Australia.

At a press conference on January 23, Chester expressed his appreciation for the search team’s tireless efforts in some of the most dreadful waters.

The fact that the aircraft was not found does not mean failure but indicates that it is not within the 120,000 sq km search zone, Chester said.

According to him, while the ocean search has been suspended, work is ongoing in assessing satellite photos and debris. If any more debris appears, the two nations will jointly carry out relevant assessment.

Meanwhile, Liow said it was upsetting that the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft was not in the search area, but stressed the crew’s "commitment, professionalism and dedication" was admirable.

He stated that the Malaysian Government was extremely thankful for the search team’s hard work as well as for the support made by the Australian and Chinese governments in searching for the plane.

Flight MH370 of Malaysian Airlines disappeared on March 8, 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board when flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur. The fate of the plane remains unknown though several debris have been found.-VNA