, PARIS, France, Aug 1 – A piece of Boeing 777 wreckage that washed up on an Indian Ocean island arrived for analysis in France early Saturday, after Malaysian authorities said the part was almost certainly recovered from missing flight MH370.
Paris’ Orly airport website confirmed the Air France flight transporting the piece of wreckage landed at 6.17am local time (0417 GMT) from the French island of La Reunion.
A police escort will accompany the two-metre (6.5 foot) part on its journey by road to a defence ministry laboratory near the southwestern city of Toulouse.
Experts will begin their analysis on Wednesday, along with an examination of parts of a suitcase discovered nearby.
If confirmed, the discovery would mark the first breakthrough in a case that has baffled aviation experts for 16 months.
“I believe that we are moving closer to solving the mystery of MH370. This could be the convincing evidence that MH370 went down in the Indian Ocean,” Malaysia’s deputy transport minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi told AFP.
The Malaysia Airlines flight disappeared on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. There were 239 people on board.
Boeing said in a statement Friday that it would send a technical team to France to study the plane debris at the request of civil aviation authorities.
“Our goal, along with the entire global aviation industry, continues to be not only to find the airplane, but also to determine what happened – and why,” the US aerospace giant added.