Transport Minister Warren Truss says it's now confirmed Flight MH370 was lost at sea and the search will continue for most of another year.
Confirmation that a wing part found on an Indian Ocean island is from Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 proves beyond doubt that the aircraft was lost at sea, Transport Minister Warren Truss says.
Mr Truss said he remained confident that the ongoing search was looking in the correct area.
"This is a significant announcement and it confirms beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost at sea," he told reporters on Friday.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 last year with 239 people, including six Australians, on board.
It was believed the aircraft headed south. But there was no solid evidence until the discovery of a wing part called a flaperon washed up on the French island of Reunion in July.
On Friday, French prosecutors confirmed that it was definitely from Flight MH370.
Mr Truss said this was obviously a difficult moment for families of those who were on board but it did provide them with some closure.
He said the seabed search could still take the better part of another year.
"We are confident we're looking in the right area but of course we are frustrated that the search has been going on for such a long time... without so far achieving the kind of result that we had hoped," he said.
Mr Truss said well over half the high probability area had now been searched, with the search ship now looking further south.
"Once that's completed, the experts tell us that we've exhausted 95 per cent of the possibility. To search for the other five per cent would mean going on for years and years and that would therefore not be a cost-effective exercise," he said.
Mr Truss said once the highest probability area had been searched, countries involved had agreed it would be discontinued.
"But as we move now into spring the weather conditions should improve and the vessels will be able to spend much more time in the search area," he said.
Martin Dolan, chief commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, said they had been working on the assumption that the flaperon found on Reunion was from MH370.
"It's useful to have formal confirmation of this, so it's good for us. But it hasn't actually made a significant difference to our search," he told news agency AFP on Friday.
Mr Dolan said the discovery of the flaperon on Reunion was consistent with ocean drift modelling based on the plane crashing in the Indian Ocean search area.
He said Australia was considering bringing in new vessels and equipment to take advantage of better weather in the upcoming southern hemisphere summer.
"We are currently reviewing the options available to us to see whether we will acquire other vessels and equipment for the summer period," he said.