“From 9:00 pm today (March 12), given the lack of certain information on the Ethiopian Airlines incident on Sunday that involved a Boing 737 Max 8 jet and the previous incident in October in Indonesia, as a precautionary measure, ENAC has ordered the closure of Italian airspace to all commercial flights operating this type of aircraft,” it said.
“This model of aircraft can no longer fly to and from national airports until further notice.”
The decision came shortly before a separate announcement from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which said that, as a precautionary measure, it was “suspending all flight operations of all Boeing Model 737-8 MAX and 737-9 MAX aeroplanes in Europe”.
Outside of Europe, countries who have banned the aircraft include Australia, the US Ethiopia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Oman, Singapore and the Cayman Islands.
The causes of Sunday’s crash, in which eight Italians were killed, are not yet known.
The plane involved in the disaster was the same type as the Indonesian Lion Air jet that crashed in October, killing 189 passengers and crew.
Some officials have detected similarities between the two accidents.
Lion Air Flight 610 vanished from radar 13 minutes after departing from Jakarta on October 29, crashing into waters off the north coast of Java Island.
Relatives of the crash victims have since filed lawsuits in the US against Boeing, claiming that faults with the new aircraft, including with its anti-stalling system, caused the crash.
Boeing responded by saying that the 737 MAX was “as safe as any airplane that has ever flown the skies”.
There is no evidence that a technical problem caused Sunday’s crash.
An investigation by aviation experts and analysis of the blackbox flight recorders is expected to shed light on the incident.
There are around 350 of Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft currently in service around the world.