Malaysia Airlines has condemned claims that MH370 pilot Zaharie Ahmad Shah switched off passengers' oxygen supply as nothing but a "cheap" and "maligned" publicity stunt.
Former Kiwi International Airlines boss Ewan Wilson and journalist Geoff Taylor have published a book called Goodnight Malaysian 370 in which they allege Shah purposely depressurised the plane so the cabin crew and 227 passengers' oxygen would run out - causing them to die from hypoxia.
Malaysia Airlines has debunked the claims as "pure conjecture for the purposes of profit by the authors and publishers".
"It must be noted that the duo are not involved in the investigation of MH370 yet they stray into the fields of science and medicine as self-described "experts" offering an analysis beyond their knowledge and abilities," the company said in a statement.
The airline stressed that the ongoing search and the investigation was being led by Malaysia with a "strong international team [made up of] accredited representatives from the US, UK, Australia, China, France and Singapore" as well as trained experts from international organisations and the civil aviation industry.
"The authors and publishers should quite simply be ashamed of themselves for what is nothing more than a cheap and maligned publicity stunt, seeking to simply cash in on the suffering of the families and undermining the dignity of all of those on-board," the statement read.
The airline reportedly said it would not rule out taking legal action against those who publish and distribute allegations against the company.
"MAS has and will always be an airline with integrity and it will not tolerate baseless allegations against the national icon," it said.
The theory has also been supported by former military pilot and air traffic control operator Peter Smith as the most plausible explanation for the disappearance of the Boeing 777 on 8 March.
Despite search efforts no trace of the aircraft has ever been found.