BEIJING - Search planes criss-crossed a desolate area of the Indian Ocean on Friday but found no sign of a missing Malaysia Airlines jet despite satellite images of possible wreckage.
Australian officials said searchers would return Saturday to see if the two large objects spotted by a satellite earlier this week belong to the Boeing 777 that disappeared March 8 with 239 people on board.
Malaysia had considered the finding one of the "best leads" yet in locating the plane but Australia's acting prime minister, Warren Truss, tried to temper expectations.
"Something that was floating on the sea that long ago may no longer be floating — it may have slipped to the bottom," he said. "It's also certain that any debris or other material would have moved a significant distance over that time, potentially hundreds of kilometers."
Truss, who is acting prime minister while Tony Abbott is in Papua New Guinea, said that "nothing of particular significance" had been identified in Friday's search.
Truss told reporters that two Chinese aircraft are expected to arrive in Perth on Saturday to join the search, and two Japanese aircraft will be arriving Sunday. A small flotilla of ships coming to Australia from China was still several days away.
Flight MH370 had departed Kuala Lumpur shortly after midnight bound for Beijing when it vanished from civilian radar an hour into its flight. Most of the passengers are Chinese, and on Friday relatives of those passengers met in Beijing with a delegation from the Malaysian government.
Chinese who attended pressed the Malaysians about the possibility the plane was hijacked. On the WeChat social media group set up by Chinese relatives of missing passengers, posters tried to stay positive.
"I wish our relatives in whatever place are also enjoying the beauty of life," said one woman, who like most on the site did not use her real name.
Others accused Malaysia of a cover-up.
"Let's calm down and learn some related knowledge, then we can ask the Malaysians sharply, and force them not to hide the truth, to help our relatives come home as soon as possible," he wrote.
Australia sent one plane to fly over one of the remotest places where the satellite images were taken and another four planes flew toward desolate islands of the Antarctic.
In Papua New Guinea, Abbott said he has spoken with a "devastated" Chinese President Xi Jinping but had no good news for him.
The objects caught on satellite "could just be a container that's fallen off a ship — we just don't know."
"It's about the most inaccessible spot that you could imagine on the face of the earth, but if there is anything down there we will find it. We owe it to the families of those people to do no less," Abbott said.
The area in the southern Indian Ocean is so remote is takes aircraft four hours to fly there and four hours back, and leaves them only about two hours to search. The area is one of rough seas and often very poor visibility from the air.
Lisa Martin, spokeswoman for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, said weather conditions got better as the day wore on, with moderate seas and some cloud cover, and improving visibility. A search Thursday had to be halted because of bad weather and nightfall.
Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Friday he would be speaking to U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel "to request further specialist assets to help with the search and rescue efforts, including remotely operated vehicles for deep ocean salvage."
Contributing: Associated Press