It took 17 minutes for authorities to realize that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had gone off the radar.
That's according to a preliminary report released Thursday by the Malaysian government.
The report also says it took hours before an official search and rescue operation was dispatched to locate the still-missing passenger jet.
MH370 was carrying 239 people when it disappeared on March 8 during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
The five-page report, which was sent last month to the International Civil Aviation Organization, also recommends to the United Nations agency that it consider introducing a standard for "real-time tracking of commercial air transport aircraft" to prevent this type of incident from happening again.
On Thursday, Malaysia Airlines advised relatives of those on board the missing plane, staying at airline-hosted hotels, to return home and wait for updates on the search. The airline also said it would soon begin making advance compensation payments to family members.
The aerial search for the jetliner officially ended earlier this week, with military aircraft leaving the area of the Indian Ocean where the plane was believed to have crashed.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the search will be entering a new phase, with submersible vehicles examining a much larger area of the ocean floor.
The Malaysian government believes someone with aviation knowledge intentionally diverted the plane, but an investigation has turned up no solid leads.
On Thursday, along with the report, the government released audio recordings of conversations between the plane's cockpit and air traffic controllers and the cargo manifest.