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MH370 Families Furious Over Malaysia Airlines Official’s Remarks

Listen to Air Traffic Control Interaction With Flight MH370 7:04

SYDNEY — Australia on Tuesday said it remained committed to searching for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 after comments by one of the airline's directors suggesting the plane would be declared officially "lost" angered passengers' families. Malaysia Airlines commercial director Hugh Dunleavy inflamed already testy relations between the airline and the families of those aboard the Boeing 777 by telling a newspaper on Nov. 4 that next of kin would be compensated "once we've had an official loss recorded".

The paper added that Australia and Malaysia were likely to declare the plane lost by the end of 2014, effectively ending a massive undersea search begun soon after the flight disappeared over the Indian Ocean on March 8. On Monday, next-of-kin activist group Voice 370 said in a statement that Dunleavy's "unilateral declaration brings intense agony and confusion to family members and makes us lose faith in the search effort." Malaysia Airlines then said in a statement the comments were an "expression of a personal opinion only."

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- Reuters