SYDNEY Australia's deputy prime minister said officials remained confident a missing Malaysia Airlines jet is somewhere in southern Indian Ocean despite searchers saying wreckage was not on the seabed in the area they had identified.
The search was narrowed last month after a series of acoustic pings thought to be from the plane's black box recorders were heard near where analysis of satellite data put its last location, some 1,600 km (1,000 miles) off the northwest coast of Australia.
"We concentrated the search in that area because the pings were the best information available at the time," Warren Truss, who is also the transport minister, told the Australian parliament on Thursday.
"We are still very confident that the resting place of the aircraft is in the southern (Indian) Ocean, and along the seventh ping line," he added, referring to an arc identified by analysis of satellite communications data from UK company Inmarsat Plc.
(Reporting by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)