Three new pieces of aircraft suspected to belong to the missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 were handed to Civil Aviation Institute authorities for examination after they were found washed up off the coast of Mozambique.

President of the Civil Aviation Institute, Captain Joao Martins de Abreu, said that the largest item is a triangular shaped piece which is red and white on one side and metallic on the other.

“There are two colours here. This is one colour, this is another colour. But I believe in the expertise of the international investigation team, they will identify very easily.”

It was picked up late last month by a South African hotelier off the waters of Mozambique’s southern province of Inhambane.

Joao de Abreu said it was the first time a coloured piece had been found.

At a news conference, he said the piece could be “an aileron, a flap,(or) an elevator.” On the inside, “we can see a label which will make it much easier to identify which aircraft it belongs to,” he said.

The other two pieces are smaller and were picked up by the son of a European Union diplomat near the southern resort of Xai Xai and handed to the authorities last month, he said, giving no further details.

The items will be sent to Malaysia for examination.

Australia, which is leading the search for the aircraft which vanished in 2014 with 239 people on board, has determined that five pieces of debris examined so far – found in Mozambique, South Africa and Mauritius – almost certainly came from the plane.

The first debris linked to MH370 – a two-metre-long wing part known as a flaperon – washed up on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion a year ago.

Officials have said that without new evidence the search will be suspended later this year.

Malaysia Airlines jet MH370 vanished in March 2014 with 239 people onboard as it was flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.