Chinese Air Force IL-76 transport plane takes off from the Royal Malaysia Airforce Base in Subang, Malaysia, March 22, 2014. Three Chinese Air Force planes arrived Malaysia on Friday to help with the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Two IL-76 transport planes among them were sent to Australia for search on Saturday. (Xinhua/Chong Voon Chung)
KUALA LUMPUR, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Two Ilyushin Il-76 aircraft from Chinese Air Force left Malaysia on Saturday for Australia to join the search for a missing Malaysian plane in the southern Indian Ocean.
The two aircraft took off at around 7 a.m. local time from Royal Malaysian Air Force base in Subang, about 30 kilometers west of the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur.
Three aircraft from Chinese Air Force, two Il-76s and one Y-8, arrived at the base on Friday. The Malaysian side said they would give full support to the Chinese Air Force in performing their search mission.
Malaysian military official said the arrival of the Chinese aircraft beefed up the assets deployed for the search and rescue operation and boosted confidence of all the staff from different countries involved in the operation.
Xiao Guanghui, senior colonel of the Chinese Air Force, told Xinhua that three aircraft with 53 crew members were deployed, of which two aircraft with 39 crew would fly to Australia.
"When we arrive in Australia, we will carry out the search and rescue operation according to the arrangement of Australia," he said.
"As there are seven regions in total, we will go to the most possible and suspicious place linked to the missing plane," he said.
Chen Wei, military attache of the Chinese embassy in Malaysia, said the Y-8 would fly from Malaysia to the Andaman Sea for search and rescue operation in the afternoon.
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