After scouring 8,200 square kilometers of the search region in the southern Indian Ocean, no clues to the ill-fated plane's whereabouts were found by the Texas-based Ocean Infinity company, which contracted with the Malaysian government to search for the wreckage on a "no find, no fee" basis.
The contract stated that the firm would be paid $20 million if the plane's remnants were found in the primary search area, $30 million if the wreckage was found in the secondary zone and $50 million if it was found in the tertiary area. If the wreckage is found outside the three zones, as Airline Ratings reports some experts believe it will be, Ocean Infinity will be rewarded $70 million. The individual square mileage of each area has not been definitively disclosed by Ocean Infinity.
The three zones comprise the 25,000-square-kilometer area defined by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's (ATSB) final report on the tragedy as the most likely area the missing aircraft could be.
According to the Malaysia MH370 Response Team, Ocean Infinity's search ship, the Seabed Constructor, recently initiated its eight autonomous underwater vehicles after having left them on standby due to adverse weather conditions.
MH370 vanished en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014, with 239 people on board. Debris has been collected from Indian Ocean islands and the east coast of Africa, with at least three pieces confirmed as coming from the missing plane.
Since the plane's mysterious disappearance, multiple conspiracy theories have emerged, with some postulating that the pilot purposely crashed the plane and others suggesting a hijacking attempt. However, authorities have not corroborated any of these theories and likely cannot until the wreckage is found.