The underwater search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been suspended nearly three years after it vanished without a trace over the Indian Ocean, according to a joint statement from Chinese, Australian and Malaysian officials.
The three countries had been leading the search for MH370, which disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board.
"Despite every effort using the best science available, cutting edge technology, as well as modeling and advice from highly skilled professionals who are the best in their field, unfortunately, the search has not been able to locate the aircraft," the statement said.
"The decision to suspend the underwater search has not been taken lightly nor without sadness."
Voice370, a support group for family members of those aboard the flight, released a statement expressing their disappointment.
"Commercial planes cannot just be allowed to disappear without a trace," the statement said.
"Stopping at this stage is nothing short of irresponsible, and betrays a shocking lack of faith in the data, tools and recommendations of an array of official experts assembled by the authorities themselves."
Steve Wang, whose mother was on board the flight, told CNN he was disappointed the search had ended with few, if any, answers.
"They said they are quite sure that they are searching the right place, but it seems that they are wrong." he said.
"I think it is their responsibility, not only for the 239 passengers on the plane, or for the next-of-kin like us, but also they have to give an answer to the whole world ... what really happened to MH370."
The plane's disappearance remains one of the greatest aviation mysteries in modern history.
Searchers spent millions of dollars scouring tens of thousands of square miles, but so far have yielded little new information about the plane's final moments.
In July last year, Australia, China and Malaysia agreed that if the aircraft was not located by the time 120,000 square kilometers (46,000 square miles) had been covered, the search would be suspended.
"The decision came not lightly," Australia's Transport Minister, Darren Chester, said at the time.
"But in the absence of new credible evidence it is not possible to continue searching. Every effort has been made. We have used the most high tech and the best people for this search."