New Delhi: Indian aviation regulator the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has decided to ground the Boeing 737-MAX planes in India, with immediate effect. The civil aviation secretary has called an emergency meeting on Wednesday at 4PM, to deal with the unprecedented situation. This move comes after a host of countries grounded the controversial aircraft after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight, earlier this week, killing 157 people.

Earlier on Tuesday, even Britain's aviation body banned it from its airspace. In fact, there are as much as 19 countries that grounded this model aircraft of Boeing so far, which includes:

1. China
2. South Africa
3. Morocco
4. Poland
5. Ethiopia
6. Singapore
7. Indonesia
8. Brazil
9. Cayman Islands
10. Mongolia
11. Argentina
12. Mexico
13. United Kingdom
14. Oman
15. Iceland
16. Germany
17. France
18. Malaysia &
19. India

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, it has said, "DGCA has taken the decision to ground the Boeing 737-MAX planes immediately. These planes will be grounded until appropriate modifications and safety measures are undertaken to ensure their safe operations. 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."

India's Spicejet flies as much as 13 B-737 MAX 8 planes. Earlier it defended the model of the plane, calling it "a highly sophisticated aircraft". But faced with the DGCA order, it released a statement saying, "SpiceJet has suspended Boeing 737 Max operations following DGCA's decision to ground the aircraft. Safety and security of our passengers, crew and operations are of utmost importance to us."

Spice Jets head of communication Tushar Srivastava tweeted, "We will be working with the regulator and the manufacturer to attain normalcy in our operations. We are confident of accommodating the vast majority of our passengers and minimise inconvenience."

Meanwhile, the US aviation regulator said that there is "no basis" for grounding Boeing's 737 MAX aircraft, one of which was involved in a crash in Ethiopia that killed 157 people.

"Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft," Federal Aviation Administration chief Daniel Elwell said in a statement.

Worldwide at least 47 airlines use Boeing 738 Max. But with the Ethiopian Airlines crash, most of them have grounded their fleet that is of this model.