FRANKFURT, March 18 (Reuters) - Allianz has started to make payment on claims linked to the disappearance of a Malaysian airliner earlier this month, the German insurer said Tuesday.
Allianz confirmed last week it is the lead insurer covering the Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared over the Pacific Ocean on March 8, while Willis has emerged as broker.
Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200ER, vanished from civilian air traffic control screens off Malaysia's east coast less than an hour after take-off.
An international land and sea search for the jetliner and the 239 people aboard is now covering an area the size of Australia but police and intelligence agencies have yet to establish a clear motive to explain its disappearance.
"Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty and other co-reinsurers of the Malaysia Airlines aviation hull and liability policy have made initial payments," the insurer said in a statement.
"This is in agreement with the insurance broker, Willis, and is in line with normal market practice and our contractual obligations where an aircraft is reported as missing."
German business daily Handelsblatt earlier reported payment in the case would amount to around 100 million euros ($139.13 million) for the aircraft and the people aboard.
It is unclear how much of the claim will be passed on to other insurers in the consortium.
Allianz declined to comment on the financial details.