Malaysia Airlines and Boeing issue guarded statements over possible MH370 wreckage

The missing flight vanished at night over the South China Sea last March with 239 people on board

The two-metre piece of wreckage found on La Reunion
The two-metre piece of wreckage found on La Reunion

Malaysia Airlines, the country's government and Boeing have issued guarded statements amid specualtion that plane debris washed up on the French Indian Ocean island of La Reunion could be part of the missing flight MH370.

The flight vanished at night over the South China Sea last March, travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board. The majority of the passengers were from China.

The wreckage, which appears to be part of a wing, was found by people cleaning a beach, leading to widespread media and social media speculation it could be part of the missing plane.

However, Malaysia transport minister Liow Tiong Lai said: "Whatever wreckage found needs to be further verified before we can further confirm whether it belongs to MH370."

Investigators are now on their way to the island, but the airline has urged caution.

"With regards to the reports of the discovery of an aircraft flaperon at Réunion Island, Malaysia Airlines is working with the relevant authorities to confirm the matter," said Malaysia Airlines.

"At the moment, it would be too premature for the airline to speculate the origin of the flaperon."

Aircraft manufcaturer Boeing it remained committed to supporting the MH370 investigation and the search for the airplane.

"We continue to share our technical expertise and analysis," it said.

"Our goal, along with the entire global aviation industry, continues to be not only to find the airplane, but also to determine what happened — and why."

PR agency Ketchum has been working with the airline since the plane disappeared, most recently around a planned rebrand.

Malaysia Airlines CEO Christoph Mueller said in June the airline would be rebranding in September.

"We will be a start-up. It will be a new legal entity [with a] new shareholder, strategy, in large parts new management. In fact, everything will be new," he said.

Nicknamed ‘The Terminator’, Mueller has spearheaded turnarounds at airlines including Aer Lingus, Sabena and Lufthansa.

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