It was originally planned to begin a new deepwater operation on October 2, but it was postponed till next Sunday because of bad weather, an Australian transport safety agency official said.
The Malaysian and Australian governments have chartered three special ships used in ocean exploration for oil and gas. Some of them already participated in the first phase of search, when they mapped the ocean floor.
The new search zone will be further south to the area examined in March and April. After analyzing a great amount of satellite data, specialists decided to look for the airliner not west, but south-west of Australia on the area of 60,000 sq km.
Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said the new phase of search was planned to last for about a year.
The head of the international search coordination center, a former Australian armed forces commander, Angus Houston, told reporters recently that the missing airliner may not be found at all. He cited the fate of the Australian naval cruiser Sydney, which disappeared in the Indian Ocean in 1941 and its wreckage was found only 67 years later.
The Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200, which was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, disappeared on March 7. Contact with the Boeing was lost two hours after it took off. Intensive search for the missing plane continued for six weeks, but not a trace was found.