The wide search for the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-200 continues into its fifth day since it went missing in the early hours of March 8, but there are still no indications as to the aircraft’s whereabouts or what happened to cause it to disappear.

In the absence of any information, the search mission is now covering an extensive area of sea and land from south of Vietnam to west of Malaysia.

At an industry financial forecast briefing for media Wednesday, IATA DG and CEO Tony Tyler expressed his deepest sympathy to all those affected by the disappearance of flight MH370.

“Authorities tell us that this very difficult situation is almost unprecedented. We simply have to hope and pray that some answers can come quickly. But this is not a time for criticizing. It’s a time for getting on with the job.”

Tyler added that no one should draw “any conclusions until we know the cause of this tragedy.”

Chinese authorities, in particular, have been accusing Malaysia of not doing enough to locate the aircraft and to look after the families of those onboard.

Malaysia Airlines has issued several statements detailing its extensive efforts to assist families and the Malaysian government has stressed the huge international search mission that continues to find the aircraft.

Malaysia Airlines also issued a statement saying it has become aware of the allegations being made against first officer, Fariq Ab Hamid, which the carrier said it takes very seriously and is shocked by the allegations.

A member of the public has come forward claiming that when she flew with the carrier, the same first officer invited her into the cockpit for the flight and was smoking.

“We have not been able to confirm the validity of the pictures and videos of the alleged incident. As you are aware, we are in the midst of a crisis, and we do not want our attention to be diverted, Malaysia Airlines said.

“The welfare of both the crew and passenger’s families remain our focus. At the same time, the security and safety of our passengers is of the utmost importance to us.”

ATW Editor’s Blog: Don’t credit the conspiracy theorists or the ‘experts’