US and Canada join growing list of flight bans on Boeing 737 Max 8 jets after fatal crash

The US Federal Aviation Administration backed the jet’s airworthiness but said it was reviewing all available data.

“Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft,” acting FAA administrator Daniel K Elwell said in a statement.

“Nor have other civil aviation authorities provided data to us that would warrant action.”

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency issued orders for the aircraft to be grounded from 7pm on Tuesday. It means planes flying over, or into, Europe will not be able to complete their journeys.

In a statement it said it had issued the directive “as a precautionary measure”, adding it is “taking every step necessary to ensure the safety of passengers”.

It extended the ban to include MAX 8 and MAX 9, although only the first type was involved in the crash in Ethiopia.

The move unifies a series of nationwide bans across Europe.

France, Germany, the Netherlands, Ireland and the UK all banned the planes from their airspace on Tuesday afternoon.

Internationally, authorities in Egypt, Thailand, Hong Kong, Kosovo and Lebanon on Wednesday joined Australia, South Korea, Singapore, China and Indonesia and others in grounding the aircraft.