Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Monday that the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crashed into the Indian Ocean west of Perth, Australia.
The head of state said the families of the 239 people on the flight, missing since March 8 in one of the great aviation mysteries of all time, have been informed.
The announcement narrowed the search area but left many questions unanswered about why the Boeing 777 flew to such a remote part of the world.
Experts previously believed that the jet could have flown north instead, toward Central Asia, but the new data showed that it could have gone only south.
The commercial flight, with 227 passengers and 12 crew members, was headed from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it disappeared on March 8.
The aircraft’s last known position, according to the analysis, “is a remote location, far from any possible landing sites,” Mr. Najib said in his address.
“It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.”
The new analysis, the prime minister said, came from Inmarsat, the British company that provided the satellite data, and from the British air safety agency.
The company “used a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort,” he said, in confirming approximately where the crash occurred.
The hunt for the missing plane has focused on the southern Indian Ocean area in recent days, and an Australian naval vessel searched there on Monday.
Najib said Malaysian authorities would hold a news conference on Tuesday to give further details about the satellite data analysis and other developments.
Later on Monday, Australian authorities said all available search aircraft had finished their missions for the day without making any further sightings.
The United States Pacific Command said it would move a Towed Pinger Locator System, capable of locating a black box down to a depth of 20,000 feet.
The black box has a battery life of 30 days and will be crucial in figuring out what happened on board the plane, before and after it lost communication.