A Dubai-bound traveller from Japan has given birth aboard an Emirates flight, the airline has confirmed to Gulf News.
The airline said the crew gave the mother and child immediate medical assistance and appropriate care upon landing.
Emirates told Gulf News in a statement: “Emirates can confirm a birth on board flight EK319 from Tokyo Narita to Dubai on January 19. The crew assisted the passenger, and the flight continued to Dubai as per schedule.”
The spokesperson said: “The passenger and baby were in stable condition and, upon arrival in Dubai, were met by local medical staff. Our crew and passengers’ health and safety are paramount.” The flight departed from Tokyo Narita at 10.31 pm (Japanese time) and landed in Dubai at 5.44 pm (UAE time).
Usually, air travel is considered unsafe for pregnant women after 36 weeks of pregnancy until advised by their doctors. Emirates cabin crew staff undergo extensive training to handle medical emergencies, from heart attacks to childbirth. Interestingly, this is not the first time an Emirates passenger has given birth mid-flight. Dubai’s flag carrier has reported at least three such incidents.
On May 2020, a woman gave birth during a COVID-19 repatriation flight from Lagos, Nigeria, to Dubai, and in 2017, a passenger delivered her baby on board a Dubai to Paris flight.
In 2012, the carrier had to have an emergency stopover in Vietnam after a baby was born on board its flight to Manila. Reports said the parents named the baby boy ‘EK’ after the airline’s flight code.