The news comes after the there was new evidence uncovered following Ethiopian Airlines’ fatal crash on Sunday, when all 157 passengers died. It was the second such crash involving the same model of Boeing. In October, 189 perished in a Lion Air crash in Indonesia.
China, Singapore, Australia and India grounded their 737’s, but now Boeing has officially suspend all 371 aircraft.
“It became clear to all parties that the track of the Ethiopian Airlines [flight] was very close and behaved very similarly to the Lion Air flight,” said Federal Aviation Administration acting official Dan Elwell.
“The evidence we found on the ground made it even more likely the flight path was very close to Lion Air’s.
“We are doing everything we can to understand the cause of the accidents in partnership with the investigators, deploy safety enhancements and help ensure this does not happen again,” said Boeing chairman Dennis Muilenburg.
Meanwhile, the largest aerospace group in the world saw its share price drop 12%, the worst since all airlines felt the brunt of the 2001 September 11 terrorist attacks. The fall equates to a whopping $28.1bn in market value and was enough to affect the Dow Jones Industrial Average by 337 points.
The problem for Boeing is that the model is the company’s best-selling plane ever, with over 5000 still on order, according to the New York Times. The planes sell for $120m each.