Hanoi - Vietnam has scaled down its search and rescue operations from "emergency" to "regular" status as the hunt for the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner continues, authorities said Friday.
"Under 'emergency status,' we keep all our search and rescue force working 24 hours a day, but under 'regular status' only part of the force takes part," Deputy Transport Minister Pham Quy Tieu, head of the National Search and Rescue Committee, told dpa.
"Before we had more than 10 flights each day. That is reduced to three or four flights a day," Tieu said, adding he had not received any official request from Malaysia to send Vietnamese assets to search for the missing jetliner in the Strait of Malacca.
"It would be very difficult for us to deploy search and rescue forces there because we would need to find a place to refuel," he said.