"It is therefore, with the heaviest heart and deepest sorrow that, on behalf of the government of Malaysia, we officially declare Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 an accident… and that all 239 of the passengers and crew on board MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives," Agence France-Presse reports citing civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman.
The search for bodies and the missing plane's wreckage remains a priority for the authorities almost a year after the disappearance, he said.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing went missing on March 8, 2014 with 227 passengers and 12 members of the crew. The plane allegedly disappeared in the area of the southern Indian Ocean.
The wreckage of the aircraft has not been found yet, but coordinating efforts have suggested the plane could have crashed south of the previously searched area.