The ban on the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft became worldwide after US President Donald Trump joined Canada and other countries in grounding the aircraft, and the black box flight recorders from the doomed plane were flown to France for analysis.
US authorities said new evidence showed similarities between Sunday's deadly crash of an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 and a fatal accident in Indonesia in October. The latest crash killed all 157 people aboard.
The Federal Aviation Administration said findings from the crash site near Addis Ababa and "newly refined satellite data" warranted "further investigation of the possibility of a shared cause for the two incidents."
An FAA emergency order grounded 737 MAX 8 and MAX 9 aircraft until further notice.
Trump said the "safety of the American people and all peoples is our paramount concern." Mexico also suspended MAX 8 and 9 operations, after Canada and Chile joined the long list of countries to ban the plane from flying in their airspace. Many airlines have voluntarily taken it out of service.
FAA acting chief Daniel Elwell said the agency has been "working tirelessly" to find the cause of the accident, but faced delays because the black box flight data recorders had been damaged.
The new information shows "the track of that airplane was close enough to the track of the Lion Air flight... to warrant the grounding of the airplanes so we could get more information from the black boxes and determine if there's a link between the two, and if there is, find a fix to that link," Elwell said
In Ethiopia, distraught families wept and lit candles as they visited the deep black crater where the plane smashed into a field.
The Ethiopian Airlines' 737 MAX 8 was less than four months old when it went down six minutes into a flight from Addis Ababa to Nairobi.