Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 23 September 2019

Baby girl born on flight to Beirut: Lebanese airline's cabin crew help deliver newborn at 38,000 feet

The Middle East Airlines jet was flying to Beirut when the mother went into labour

A photograph of the newborn wrapped in an MEA blanket and being cradled by one of the cabin crew has been widely shared online. The photograph originated from an aviation interest group called Lebanese Plane Spotters. Courtesy: Lebanese Plane Spotters
A photograph of the newborn wrapped in an MEA blanket and being cradled by one of the cabin crew has been widely shared online. The photograph originated from an aviation interest group called Lebanese Plane Spotters. Courtesy: Lebanese Plane Spotters

A plane flying to Lebanon gained an unticketed passenger mid-flight this week when a baby girl was born at 38,000 feet.

The Middle East Airlines flight to Beirut had just entered Iraqi airspace when a passenger went into labour in the aeroplane bathroom.

A member of the crew noticed the situation and informed the pilot in charge of flight ME435. The captain tried to establish if there was a doctor on board, but there was not.

Instead, the MEA cabin crew took over and successfully helped the mother to deliver the baby girl.

A photograph of the newborn wrapped in an MEA blanket and being cradled by one of the cabin crew has been widely shared online.

It was originally posted by an aviation interest group called Lebanese Plane Spotters. The group said they received the picture directly from the chairman of MEA, Mohamad El Hout.

A representative for the plane-spotting group said the new mother was Filipino.

The Airbus A320 was diverted to Kuwait, where mother and baby were taken to hospital. The plane then resumed its flight.

A Facebook user said the parents should name the child after the airline, writing: "I think they should call the girl Mea."

Rima Mikaoui from MEA confirmed the incident. "Cabin crew handled the situation, they assisted the lady with the delivery, the baby was born on board and was well taken care of," she said.

Pregnant women can fly until they are in their third trimester. The cut-off date varies depending on the airline, but is typically set at a maximum of about 36 weeks.

After this, women can only fly if they have medical clearance from a doctor.

Updated: July 31, 2019 12:50 PM

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