Two U.S. patrol planes have been pulled from the air search for the missing Malaysian airliner, Navy officials said Wednesday.
The decision to yank the P-8 Poseidon aircraft, along with the support ship the USNS Cesar Chavez, was made after officials determined there is little or no chance any debris from the plane is still afloat over open seas.
The Navy said its Seventh Fleet patrol aircraft made 45 missions, clocking 396 hours of flight time and covering 513,000 square nautical miles in the hunt for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
A report that possible wreckage had been spotted in the Bay of Bengal, about 3,000 miles away from the current search area, was also ruled out.
The search zone is concentrated below the surface of the southern Indian Ocean, as an unmanned submarine has been scouring for either debris or the black boxes belonging to Flight 370.