Baby girl born mid-air on Turkish Airlines flight to Istanbul
ISTANBULA woman successfully gave birth to a healthy baby girl during a Turkish Airlines (THY) flight to Istanbul late on April 7.
Diaby Nafi, the passenger who gave birth on board, had not appeared to be nine months pregnant and had not told the airline or crew of her condition, according to cabin crew.
Normally, Turkish Airlines does not permit pregnant women to fly after 36 weeks and can only fly before 36 weeks with a doctor’s report indicating she is able to fly, according to its website.
Nafi, a French-Guinean woman, started to go into labor shortly after the plane took off from Conakry, Guinea, en route to Turkey with a stop in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso, on April 7.
With the help of the cabin crew, who are trained for such contingencies, Nafi gave birth to a healthy baby girl, Kadiju, at an altitude of 13,000 meters (42,000 feet).
As soon as Kadiju was born, another Guinean passenger whispered the baby’s name into her ear following a recitation of the adhan, the Muslim call to prayer – a Muslim tradition after a baby is born.
After the birth, the plane landed routinely in Ouagadougou. The mother and the baby were immediately taken to hospital, where they were said to be in good condition.
Cabin attendant Bouthayna Inanir, who aided Nafi in the delivery, told the press that the woman gave birth while standing.
“The lady was in great pain,” Inanir said.
“And then the baby was on the seat. This was the hardest part. I had to grab the baby. I took her and give her to the mother,” Inanir said.
Another stewardess, Demet Hocaoğlu, said that when they realized that Nafi was giving birth, the cabin crew shared the job, just like they do during training for such situations.
Pilot İrfan Kurşun Geçmez said the crew immediately informed the cockpit that a woman was about to give birth. According to procedures, he added, the plane would land at the nearest airport if the baby or mother’s lives were in danger.
“Everything happened quickly. We got the news that the delivery was done successfully while we were waiting to hear a second confirmation and learn about the latest news,” he said. “So, we decided to continue the route.”
After the birth, the cabin crew took photos with the mother and the baby.