India joins list of countries to ground Boeing Max 8s

India's aviation watchdog DGCA has decided to immediately ground the Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, days after an Ethiopian Airline crash killed 157 people, including four Indians.

The planes will stay grounded till appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations, the Civil Aviation Ministry announced on Tuesday evening.

"As always, passenger safety remains our top priority. We continue to consult closely with regulators around the world, airlines, and aircraft manufacturers to ensure passenger safety," Civil Aviation Ministry said on Twitter.

New Delhi's decision comes after a number of countries grounded the new model of the US aircraft manufacturer's best-selling 737.

Currently, SpiceJet and Jet Airways operate the 737 MAX 8. SpiceJet has 13 of the model 8 variant in its 75-strong fleet while Jet Airways has five such aircraft.

While Jet Airways has grounded the model 8 variants, SpiceJet had earlier today defended the jets and called them "highly sophisticated".

Many countries, including South Korea, Singapore and China have grounded the jets following the second fatal accident of the aircraft in just five months.

In October, a Lion Air plane crashed into the sea off the Indonesian capital of Jakarta 13 minutes after take-off, killing all 189 onboard.

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