A SriLankan Airlines flight took off from Dammam in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday with 194 passengers, but landed in Mumbai on Wednesday morning with 195.
An Indonesian woman gave birth to a boy mid-air, on flight UL 264 bound for Colombo. The flight subsequently landed in Mumbai, the closest airport.
The delivery was conducted by cabin crew as there was no doctor on board.
“At 3.30 am, 33-year-old Mursani Selania complained of labour pains. She went to the toilet and when she stepped out, the baby was delivered,” said Colin Pariera, airport manager, Srilankan Airlines. The crew cut the umbilical chord and cleaned the baby.
“The flight landed in Mumbai at 4.54 am," said a spokesperson for Mumbai International Airport Ltd, the GVK-led private consortia managing the airport.
The airport doctor who attended to mother and son 30 minutes after the delivery said both were fine.
The airport admitted the mother and son to Holy Spirit Hospital in Andheri.
The delivery delayed the flight by a few hours; it finally left Mumbai for the Srilankan capital at 6.34 am.
“Other travellers did not complain but cheered the duo,” said an airline staff member. “Even though it was a late-night flight many passengers offered help.”
Although the child was born in Indian airspace, but it’s not clear what citizenship he can adopt besides his mother’s.