The underwater hunt for missing MH370 is a “goose chase” that will soon be abandoned, according to the boss of one of the world’s largest airlines.
Tim Clark, president of Dubai-based Emirates Airlines, likened the search of the southern Indian Ocean to the decades-old unsolved mystery surrounding the disappearance of aviator Amelia Earhart.
"I think it is only a question of time before the search is abandoned," he told the Sydney Morning Herald on the sidelines of an industry conference in Miami on Tuesday. His remarks were confirmed to NBC News by an airline spokesman.
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board.
“Do we have solutions? Do we have explanations? Cause? Reasons? No,” said Clark, whose airline is the world’s biggest operator of Boeing 777s — the same type that vanished in March 2014. “It has sent us down a goose chase. It will be an Amelia Earhart repetition.”
Earhart vanished in 1937 while attempting a solo round-the-world flight and her aircraft has never been found.
A joint investigation by Australia and Malaysia, helped by other international experts, has so far concluded from satellite data that the jet probably changed course and headed south for several hours before running out of fuel. Experts have identified a 46,000 square mile search zone where they believe the plane likely entered the water — an area about the size of Pennsylvania. However, only 19,000 square miles have been searched so far.
Authorities have not put a time limit on the operation, but have warned that they will not expand the search if the wreckage is not found inside the current zone.
Meanwhile, the Australia Transportation Safety Bureau said in an operational update Wednesday that weather conditions in the search zone are so bad that one of the specialist ships has been damaged by giant waves.