Missing Malyasia Airlines flight MH370 could have been found by now if only bosses had installed a £6 ($10) technology update, it has been claimed.

That is the claim detailed in a new book Flight MH370: The Mystery, about the tragedy of the vanished jumbo jet, which disappeared seemingly without trace in March.

Hampering efforts to find the plane - which disappeared with 239 people on board - has been the enormous search area. Although the focus of the search has recently homed in on an area of the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Australia, not a single physical trace of the plane has been found.

Writing in a book about the case, author Nigel Cawthorne claimed the missing software update has created the problem of having no data upon which to build a solid hypothesis about the location of MH370.

Cawthorne, who has written for titles including British newspaper the Guardian and America's New York Tribune, wrote: "Along with several other carriers, Malaysia Airlines had opted for a cheap data package for its aircraft that transmitted only minimal information rather than pay an additional small fee to transmit detailed flight data."

The author's assertion follows an article in IBTimes.co.uk within days of the MH370 going missing, revealing the possibilty of the disastrous technical blunder.

Cawthorne's claim comes as Malaysia Airlines' losses deepen in the wake of the catastrophe.

The air giant has lost 40% of its value this year and many shares in the firm are held by pension funds in Malaysia. In the first quarter of 2014 – which ended in the same month as MH370 vanished - losses rose by 59%.

Accounting for the firm's performace, chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said: "The results were made worse with the impact on air travel in general following the disappearance of MH370. The whole market has reacted by slowing down demand."