UK

MH370 Missing Plane Aerial Search Crew Pose For Solemn Farewell Photo As Air Hunt Ends (PICTURE)

30/04/2014 15:28 BST | Updated 30/04/2014 16:59 BST

The aerial search for surface wreckage from missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 officially ended on Wednesday.

Ships have also moved out of the area of the Indian Ocean where the doomed airliner is thought to have crashed.

Australia’s ABC news reports the focus will now move to a more intensified underwater search.

australian defence force

Multinational air-crew and aircraft involved in operation Southern Indian Ocean assembled for a photo at RAAF Base Pearce, in Perth, Western Australia

Crews from the seven nations involved in the air search – Australia, New Zealand, the United States, South Korea, Malaysia and China – today posed for a final commemorative photograph at Perth’s RAAF Base in Pearce, Western Australia.

Some personnel traded military patches and mulled over their disappointment in not finding the Boeing 777 during the ceremony, CNN writes.

SEE ALSO Missing Flight MH370: Vanishing Planes Mapped Since 1948 (INFOGRAPHIC)

The flight, bound for Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, had 239 people on board when it disappeared on 8 March.

Electronic signals consistent with transmissions from a black box were detected earlier this month, narrowing the search to that remote patch of sea.

australian defence force

The crews have flown daily search missions out to the southern Indian Ocean during the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft

The hunt for the Malaysia Airlines plane, now missing for 54 days, will continue underwater, and could take many more months, Tony Abbott told a Canberra press conference on Monday.

It is "highly unlikely" debris from the missing flight MH370 will ever be found floating on the ocean surface, he admitted.

An underwater drone called Bluefin-21 is currently being deployed to search for debris on the floor of the Indian Ocean.

The drone uses side-scan sonar and covers areas of up to 40 square kilometres at a depth of 4,500 meters.

Search For MH370