The search area for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will be doubled if the jetliner is not found in the current target area, said ministers from Malaysia, Australia and China at a meeting held in Kuala Lumpur on April 16.

The search for missing Flight MH370 could take another year as Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai, Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss and Chinese Transport Minister Yang Chuantang vowed to extend the search area by an additional 60,000 square kilometres, bringing the total area to 120,000 square kilometres, covering all possible final resting places for the plane.

The extended search will begin once the current search phase ends, Liow noted, adding there is still hope for the wreckage to be found in the original search area.

Truss believed that the next phase would be less expensive, since search facilities have already been working in the area.

For his part, Yang reiterated that China will not abandon the search until the jetliner is found and will coordinate with Malaysia and Australia in initiative.

During the meeting, the three ministers also spoke highly of the multi-national effort to search for the aircraft after it disappeared on March 8 last year.

Empathising with relatives of those aboard the plane, they reaffirmed their commitment to keep in touch with the family members and continually update them with information on the search.

The ministers were also reported on tracking techniques used in the hunt for MH370 including underwater search data analysis and sound wave signal classification, alongside challenges and risks to the search in remote areas.

The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with 239 passengers and crew members lost contact with air traffic control early on March 8 en route from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing, China.

The fate of the airplane and those on board remains a mystery.-VNA