PERTH - Planes and ships were racing Friday to a fresh search zone after a "credible new lead" that Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 was flying faster an first thought before it plunged into the remote Indian Ocean.
Ten aircraft from six countries - Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States - altered their flight paths to an area 1,100 kilometres (685 miles) northeast of where they have been looking for a week, far off western Australia.
Five Chinese ships and an Australian naval vessel were also steaming to the new zone of interest after the weather cleared following the suspension of the search on Thursday due to thunderstorms and high winds, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.
"The new information is based on continuing analysis of radar data between the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca before radar contact was lost," AMSA said.
"It indicated that the aircraft was travelling faster than previously estimated, resulting in increased fuel usage and reducing the possible distance the aircraft travelled south into the Indian Ocean."
It follows Thailand reporting Thursday a satellite sighting of hundreds of floating objects. Japan also announced a satellite analysis indicated around 10 square floating objects, although it was not clear if these were in the zones the new search would focus on.
The Thai and Japanese sightings came after satellite data from Australia, China and France had also shown floating objects possibly related to MH370, but nothing has so far been retrieved despite a huge multinational search.
The Boeing 777 mysteriously vanished on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 carrying 239 people.
"This is a credible new lead and will be thoroughly investigated today," Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said.
"As I have said from the start, we owe it to them to follow every credible lead and to keep the public informed of significant new developments. That is what we are doing," he added.
The updated advice was provided by an international investigation team in Malaysia with the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) determining "that this is the most credible lead to where debris may be located".
The new search area is approximately 319,000 square kilometres and around 1,850 kilometres west of Perth, and Australia is re-positioning its satellites to focus on the zone.