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In a surprising event, a Turkish Airlines flight crew found themselves with an extra passenger on their plane. Yes, the unexpected passenger, a baby girl was born at 42,000ft (12,800m) when a woman went into labour mid-flight.
The mother, then a 28-week-old pregnant traveller was flying with Turkish Airlines’ TK538 Conakry (Guinea)-Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) flight. Shortly after the plane took off she was suffering in pain. The crew members noticed her and understood she was in early labour.
The cabin crew promptly responded and assist her during childbirth in the flight. The mother, Nafi Diaby, was laid across a row of seats and the stewardesses sprang into action to make it as comfortable as they could.
“The lady was in great pain,” flight attendant Bouthayna Inanir told Hurriyet Daily News, adding that “and then the baby was on the seat”. Inanir further added, “This was the hardest part. I had to grab the baby. I took her and give her to the mother.”
The happy news was shared by the airlines on Twitter with a congratulatory message that read, “Welcome on board Princess! Applause goes to our cabin crew!” They also posted pictures of the newborn with the caring attendants, which are now going viral.
Welcome on board Princess! Applause goes to our cabin crew! 👏🏻👶🏽 pic.twitter.com/FFPI16Jqgt
— Turkish Airlines (@TurkishAirlines) April 7, 2017
After the landing at Ouagadougou Airport, the mother, a French-Guinean woman and her newborn Kadiju were shifted to a hospital. It has been reported that the baby and the mother are in good health.
Most airlines allow expectant mothers to travel until they are 36 weeks pregnant. Turkish Airlines in their website specifies, “Pregnant women expecting one baby can fly with a doctor’s report that states that they are fit to fly by air carriage between 28-35 weeks. (Early days of the 28th week and last days of the 35th week.) After that, they are no longer fit to fly even with medical clearance.”
People around the world were happy with the untimely arrival and praised the crew for helping the woman. While most reactions were that of excitement as they claimed the baby would enjoy “free” services by the airlines for life, many also enquired and joked about what would be the place of birth in her birth certificate. And, of course, what would be the nationality of the newborn!