(Source: www.straitstimes.com)

A flight going from Saudi Arabia to India on Sunday (June 18) added one extra passenger midway, when a woman on board went into premature labour.

At 35,000 feet (10,688m), the flight’s crew and a passenger – a trained nurse – assisted in the baby’s delivery on the Boeing 737, BBC reported on Monday (June 19).

The flight 9W 569 was diverted from its original destination, the city Kochi in south-west India, to the nearest airport, which happened to be in the western city of Mumbai, the Times of India reported.

The mother and baby were taken to hospital and Jet Airways told BBC that both the woman and her child were in good health.

On the same day, Jet Airways announced that it would be giving the baby free air tickets for life.

“Being the first baby to be born inflight for the airline, Jet Airways is pleased to offer the newly-born a free lifetime pass for all his travel on Jet Airways,” the airline said.

“Jet Airways commends its crew for their response and promptness that saw them successfully translate their training into life saving action. The airline expresses its gratitude to Wilson, the on board paramedic for her guidance,” it said, referring to nurse Mini Wilson.

Other airlines have also experienced mid-flight births. Turkish Airlines encountered a similar incident in April, when a woman on board one of its flights gave birth to a girl at 42,000 feet in the air, BBC reported.

Most airlines allow expecting mothers to fly until they are 36 weeks pregnant, which is usually around four weeks before their due date, according to BBC and Mashable. After 28 weeks of pregnancy, mothers usually have to produce a signed doctor’s letter to the airline, to certify that they are fit to fly.

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