KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia Airlines (MAS) will close all of its assistance centres for the next of kin of missing MH370 passengers around the world by May 7.
MAS chief executive officer Ahmad Jauhari Yahya, however, stressed that the company would keep in contact with the families.
Plans to establish family support centres in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing and other services would be communicated in person to the families, he added.
"Immediately after the next of kin have returned home, our representatives will be in touch with them to initiate the advance compensation payment process.
"Such advance payments will not affect the rights of the next of kin to claim compensation according to the law at a later stage, and will be calculated as part of the final compensation," Ahmad Jauhari said in a statement yesterday.
He also said that the next phase of the search mission would feature more technologically advanced assets with the cooperation of Malaysia, Australia and China, along with other international partners.
"Despite such an intensified search operation, probably the largest in history, we have to face the hard reality that there is still no trace of the aircraft," he said.
"MAS is acutely conscious of and deeply sympathetic to the continuing unimaginable anguish, distress and hardship suffered by those with loved ones on board the flight."