A piece of Boeing 777 wreckage that washed up on an Indian Ocean island and is suspected to have come from missing flight MH370 has arrived at a French laboratory for analysis.
If confirmed as being from the doomed Malaysia Airlines flight, the discovery would mark the first breakthrough in a case that has baffled aviation experts for 16 months.
The convoy containing the two-metre wing part was escorted by police from Paris to the defence ministry laboratory near the southwestern city of Toulouse, encased in a wooden crate.
The part, identified as a flaperon, was flown overnight to the mainland from the French island of La Reunion, where it was found on a beach in the town of Saint Andre earlier this week.
From Paris’ Orly airport, it was driven south by road, arriving at the laboratory at about 5.30pm on Saturday.
MH370 disappeared on March 8, 2014, en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, including six Australians.
Malaysian and French experts will on Wednesday begin their analysis of the part, as well as fragments of a suitcase discovered nearby.
On Saturday, a few hundred people attended a mass in Saint Andre in remembrance of the victims, a few hundred metres from the spot where the flaperon was found on Wednesday.
“I believe that we are moving closer to solving the mystery of MH370. This could be the convincing evidence that MH370 went down in the Indian Ocean,” Malaysia’s deputy transport minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said.