Boeing has taken the decision to ground all of its 737 Max 8 jets after discovering new evidence following the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

The US manufacturer had allowed individual airlines or authorities to make the decision but has now ban the use of the jet completely.

All 157 people on board the Ethiopian Airlines flight died when the plane crashed on Sunday shortly after takeoff.

The US' Federal Aviation Administration had held off a temporary ban, but said fresh evidence sparked the decision. The FAA, which assisted the investigation, said: "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."

A Lion Air flight, which also used the Boeing 737 Max 8 jet, crashed shortly after takeoff in October, killing 189 people.

Boeing said it still remains confident in the safety of the plane but grounded it "out of an abundance of caution and in order to reassure the flying public of the aircraft's safety".

Dennis Muilenburg, president, chief executive and chairman of Boeing, said: "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."