A 30-weeks pregnant woman went into labour on-board a Jet Airways flight bound for Kochi from Dammam, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday morning and delivered a boy even as the flight was diverted to Mumbai.
“The baby was born around 8.45am, while the flight landed at Mumbai at 9.12,” said an airport source. Among the passengers was a paramedic who, along with the flight attendants, assisted the pregnant passenger, Cicymol Jose, a source said. The new passenger had neither a passport or a valid air ticket, but since his is the first birth aboard a Jet Airways flight, the airline rewarded him with a free lifetime pass for air travel.
According to a statement issued by Jet Airways, the mother and baby were rushed to hospital after landing and were doing well. Their Kerala-based family was informed about the development by the airline.
The airline commended its crew “for their response and promptness that saw them successfully translate their training into life-saving action”. It also expressed its gratitude to one “Ms Wilson, the on-board paramedic, for her guidance”.
According to Jet Airways’ policy, women are allowed to travel on the airline until the 36th week of pregnancy provided they get a medical certificate stating that they are fit for travel.
An airport source said: “The aircraft would have been over the Indian airspace when the baby was born, but the detail about the newborn’s nationality isn’t known yet.
“This year also saw another premature birth on a flight. In April, a 28-weeks pregnant passenger on board a Turkish Airlines flight went into labor shortly after the aircraft took off from Guinea capital, Conakry, for the Burkina Faso capital.