But there are hints that further investigative work can still be done to find out why the plane vanished.
As the most recent privately funded search comes to a close, the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has ended, four years after it vanished from radar.
US-based Ocean Infinity, which has been using a Norwegian supply ship, spent four months combing a huge area of the southern Indian Ocean with a fleet of up to eight mini-submarines.
The private company has been making the search unpaid but would have received up to $70 million if the wreck of the plane had been located.
But despite surveying around 80,000sqkm, no trace of the aircraft was found, and the Malaysian government says it has no plans for any further searches, the BBC reports.
One of the reasons for the current search ending now is the deteriorating weather in the area as winter takes hold in the southern hemisphere.
The plane disappeared on March 8, 2014, after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing with 239 people on board. Debate still rages over what may have happened as very little is known about the plane’s last hours.
Most of the communication equipment on board was switched off as the plane diverted to the south, flying along national borders where it could not easily be detected.
A definitive conclusion cannot be reached on whether MH370 remained under the command of pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah or flew out of control before crashing into the sea.
Malaysia says it will release a full report into the disappearance at some point in the future. However, Anwar Ibrahim, who is expected to be next prime minister, has told the newspaper The Australian that there is “further digging” to be done.
Photo by Laurent Errera, CC BY-SA 2.0 licence