Shanghai - Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Friday that searchers were confident they knew the position of the black box flight recorder from a missing Malaysian airliner, but cautioned this was not the same as recovering wreckage.

“We are confident that we know the position of the black box flight recorder to within some kilometres,” he said in a speech in the Chinese commercial capital, Shanghai.

“Still, confidence in the approximate position of the black box is not the same as recovering wreckage from almost four and a half kilometres beneath the sea or finally determining all that happened on the flight.”

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew, vanished on March 8 and is believed to have flown thousands of kilometres off its Kuala Lumpur-to-Beijing route and into the Indian Ocean. - Reuters