He did not say how long it would take to reach the search area. He said the Chinese ships are also expected to have acoustic sensors that can listen for black box pingers.
The lack of results from the search gave one Malaysian family a little hope that the authorities were wrong in their calculations.
Eliz Wong Yun Yi, 24, whose father was on the plane, said her family stopped watching the daily Malaysian news conference because they felt the government was not upfront with information. All the new satellite data added to the confusion, she said.
“After so many days, still no plane. We will not believe what they say until the plane wreckage is found. I want to stay positive and believe that my father will come back,” she said. Her father, Wong Sai Sang, a 53-year-old Malaysian property sales manager, had been on his way to Beijing for work.
Wong reported from Kuala Lumpur. Associated Press writers Scott McDonald and Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Kristen Gelineau in Sydney, Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, and Nick Perry in Wellington, New Zealand, contributed to this report.