A baby was born prematurely after she was delivered mid-air while travelling from the United Arab Emirates to the Philippines, forcing the plane to carry out an emergency landing in Hyderabad. Interestingly, the child has been granted a lifetime of free air travel by the airlines.
The mother, whose due date was two months away, suddenly went into labour on Sunday (August 14) on board the Cebu Pacific Air flight as it flew from Dubai to Manila, a fellow passenger Missy Berberabe Umandal posted on Facebook.
Alarmed, flight attendants requested for medical assistance and luckily there were two nurses on board. The mother soon was moved in to the front of the cabin, after flight attendants turned it into a makeshift delivery room.
"We only heard one semi-loud screech, and a few seconds later, there were tinier, cute screeches, and it was when we knew the baby was born. Luckily, she only had to push ONCE," Umandal said in her post, with a picture showing the mother holding her newborn, wrapped in a blanket. The mother's nationality is not known.
Flight attendants and nurses cleaned the newborn with mineral water and dressed her in baby clothes donated by fellow passengers flying with infants.
The pilot then conducted an emergency landing in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad so the mother and newborn could receive medical attention before continuing on to Manila.
"After initial examination by the medical staff, they were moved to the mother and child care centre of a hospital in the city," a Hyderabad airport security official told AFP, requesting anonymity. "The newborn and mother are fine and under medical supervision."
The woman and the baby were given three-day temporary visas, which would most likely be extended until the parent and child were fit to fly, the official said.
Cebu Pacific Air, the Philippines' largest airline, said in a statement to AFP that it was the first time a baby was delivered onboard one of its aircraft, calling the birth a "momentous occasion".
The airline said it was giving the baby a million points in its lifestyle rewards programme, equivalent to about 10,000 one-way flights in the Philippines.
Last Updated 31, Mar 2018, 6:35 PM