US airlines have been ordered to stop flying Boeing 787 Dreamliners temporarily after a battery fault caused an emergency landing in Japan.
Carriers in Chile and India followed suit after the US Federal Aviation Administration order by grounding their 787s.
The FAA said that airlines must demonstrate battery safety before flights can resume.
The regulator added that it had alerted the international aviation community of its airworthiness directive so that other authorities could take parallel action to cover the fleets operating in their countries.
Boeing said it supported the FAA but added it was confident the 787 was safe and it stood by the integrity of the aircraft.
Chief executive Jim McNerney said: “We will be taking every necessary step in the coming days to assure our customers and the travelling public of the 787’s safety and to return the airplanes to service.
“Boeing deeply regrets the impact that recent events have had on the operating schedules of our customers and the inconvenience to them and their passengers.”
United Airlines is the only US carrier to currently operate the 787 with six in its fleet.
The FAA action follows an emergency landing by an All Nippon Airways 787 in Japan due to a battery malfunction. ANA grounded its fleet of 17 Dreamliners and Japan Airlines did the same.
“The in-flight Japanese battery incident followed an earlier 787 battery incident that occurred on the ground in Boston on January 7, 2013,” the regulator said.
“The AD (airworthiness directive) is prompted by this second incident involving a lithium ion battery.”
The battery failures resulted in the release of flammable electrolytes, heat damage, and smoke, and the cause of the failures was under investigation, it said.
“These conditions, if not corrected, could result in damage to critical systems and structures, and the potential for fire in the electrical compartment,” the FAA said.
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