"We're going to be issuing an emergency order of prohibition to ground all flights of the 737 MAX 8 and the 737 MAX 9 and planes associated with that line", Trump told reporters at the White House.
Breaking precedent, regulators in China grounded the revamped narrow-body plane before an global team of investigators had a chance to review flight data and cockpit voice recorders recovered after a brand-new Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max 8 plunged into a hillside minutes after takeoff Sunday.
Sunday's disaster - following another fatal crash of a 737 MAX jet in Indonesia five months ago - has caused alarm in the worldwide aviation industry and wiped billions of dollars off the market value of the world's biggest planemaker.
Singapore and Australia became the latest nations to suspend Boeing 737 MAX aircraft today, while identification of the Ethiopian Airlines crash's 157 victims dragged and black box recorders were yet to yield the cause.
More countries are grounding the planes, and passengers are cancelling their trips.
The Boeing 737 Max 8. Source charlywkarl
"Boeing has lost control of the timetable to provide the safe, reliable solution", said Neil Hansford, chairman of the Australian consultant Strategic Aviation Solutions. But October's Lion Air crash in Indonesia sparked a debate on automation, particularly over a software system created to push the plane down to stop a stall during flight.
Southwest is the world's largest operator of the 737 MAX 8 with 34 jets, while American flies 24 MAX 8s and United 14 MAX 9s.
He said the company was using alternative airlines including SAS, AirFrance and KLM to rebook and that he believed customers would come back to Norwegian Air if they reopened flights on the MAX in the future.
Before Sunday's crash, the 737 Max planes were heavily used, taking more than 9,000 flights in a single week and reaching nearly every continent.
Pilots of both planes had to correct their planes' trajectories repeatedly after the automatic control systems aimed the nose downward.
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The MAX 8 has new software that automatically pushes the plane's nose down if a stall is detected. "The safety of the American people and all people is our paramount concern".
Until Trump's announcement, the Federal Aviation Administration had said that it didn't have any data to show the jets are unsafe.
In October, a Lion Air jet of the same model crashed in Indonesia, killing 189.
Jason Scarrotts, a father of two young children, said he was on the phone with Air Canada for 90 minutes before speaking with an agent to rebook their Max 8 flight from Vancouver to Palm Springs, only to be disconnected. The crash occurred shortly after takeoff from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
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The MAX has a bigger and more efficient engine compared with earlier 737 models.
"They are working very, very hard right now and, hopefully, they'll quickly come up with an answer", Trump said.
The new variant of the world's most-sold modern passenger aircraft was viewed as the likely workhorse for airlines for decades.
"We can confirm a rising interest on the aircraft types we are operating", a spokesman for Swedish-based SAS said.
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