The Boeing 777 aircraft (BA.N) disappeared on 8 March last year, carrying 239 passengers and crew shortly after taking off from the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing.
“We officially declare Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 an accident … and that all 239 of the passengers and crew onboard MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives,” Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said in a statement.
The announcement is in accordance with standards of annexes 12 and 13 in the International Civil Aviation, said Azharuddin. It will allow families of the passengers to obtain assistance through compensation, he said.
“This declaration is by no means the end,” said Azharuddin, adding that it will continue with the search for the missing plane with assistance from China and Australia.
Malaysia airline’s crisis worsened on July 17 when its Flight MH17, on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 people on board.