A US marine survey firm that resumed the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 early this year said May 29 it is concluding the operation.

In just over three months, Houston-based Ocean Infinity searched and collected data from 112,000 sq km (43,243 sq miles) of ocean floor in the southern Indian Ocean. That was nearly the same area the previous search for the aircraft covered in two-and-a-half years, the company said.

Operating as Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, the 777 carrying 239 passengers and crew disappeared from radar on March 8, 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Australia accepted responsibility for leading the search at the request of the Malaysian government. The effort continued until Jan. 17, 2017, when the governments of Malaysia, Australia and China jointly agreed to suspend operations.

Ocean Infinity announced in January the Malaysian government had approved its proposal to continue the search on a “no find, no fee” basis. The company launched autonomous underwater vehicles from the Seabed Constructor, an offshore construction vessel, to locate wreckage.

“We are most grateful to the government of Malaysia for entertaining our offer and affording us the opportunity to recommence the search. The commitment that the new government in Malaysia has made to prioritizing finding MH370 was very good to hear,” Ocean Infinity CEO Oliver Plunkett stated in a press release announcing the end of the operation.

While the outcome so far is “extremely disappointing,” Plunkett said the company produced a lot of quality data and covered such a vast area speedily. “There simply has not been a subsea search on this scale carried out as efficiently or as effectively ever before,” he added.

Ocean Infinity hopes “to again offer our services” if the search is resumed in the future, the company said.

Bill Carey, bill.carey@aviationweek.com