Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and search in Indian Ocean
A Republic of Korea P-3 Orion aircraft takes off from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Pearce during search for the missing Malaysia Airlines MH370, near PerthReuters

Naval vessels and aircraft will be scouring a fresh search zone in the southern Indian Ocean for debris of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, following a "new credible lead" from radar data, Australian authorities say.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), which is spearheading the operations, has announced the dramatic shift in the search location which will be 1,100kms further northeast in the Indian Ocean.

The agency said in a statement: "The new search area is approximately 319,000 square kilometres and around 1,850 kilometres west of Perth. 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."

The latest shift is based on the finding that the Malaysian jetliner was travelling faster than it was originally thought. The increase in speed would have caused more fuel consumption, eventually reducing the distance travelled by the airliner over the southern Indian Ocean, said AMSA.

The latest evidence emerged from the international investigation team in Kuala Lumpur.

AMSA added: "The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), Australia's investigation agency, has examined this advice and determined that this is the most credible lead to where debris may be located. ATSB advises the potential flight path may be the subject of further refinement as the international investigative team supporting the search continues their analysis."

The satellites are also being adjusted to map the new search zone.

Ten surveillance jets and six naval vessels from six nations – Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the US - involved in the activities have been deployed to press ahead with the task.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has said he has been informed of the recent developments in the search operations.

Abbott added: "This is a credible new lead and will be thoroughly investigated today. Ten aircraft, six vessels and satellites will focus on the new search area. This is an extraordinarily difficult search, and an agonising wait for family and friends of the passengers and crew."

"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."