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Woman delivers baby mid-air over Atlantic ocean

This was the 11th birth on a Lufthansa flight since 1965

world Updated: Jul 29, 2017 18:27 IST
(Twitter/ Lufthansa News)

It was an incredible moment for crew members and passengers of Lufthansa flight LH543, which took off from Colombian capital Bogota on July 25 with 191 passengers. Headed for Germany’s Frankfurt, it landed unscheduled in Manchester with an extra passenger on board!

Desislava K, a 38-year-old Bulgaria-based woman, gave birth to a baby boy 39,000 feet above the North Atlantic.

As the mom-to-be started experiencing labour pain, the 13 crew members on board prepared to deliver the baby. And soon they found out that there were three doctors among the passengers.

“The crew moved several passengers to seats in the front, and the rear part of the plane became an impromptu delivery room. The entire area was closed off with a privacy screen,” Lufthansa said in a statement, issued on Friday.

The baby was named Nikolai --- the same name as one of the doctors, the statement said.

In a video posted by Lufthansa on its Twitter account, crew member Carolin van Osch said it was a “very very emotional moment”, adding “we hugged each other and shed tears of joy”.

This was the 11th birth on a Lufthansa flight since 1965.

“At first, I could not believe it because a birth on board is something very special...after we calmed down a bit, we started our work according to the procedures we have learned,” flight captain Kurt Mayer said in the video.

The airlines received praises --- and invited a flurry of questions --- on Twitter after announcing the news through its handle.

When one of the users asked if the baby will get free Lufthansa tickets for a lifetime, the airline clarified that it was not their policy.

“We don’t have this rule, we’ll definitely think of something nice for him. And he’ll always have a special place in our <3 (heart),” Lufthansa tweeted.

In June, a baby was born on India-based Jet Airways flight travelling from Dammam in Saudi Arabia to Kochi. Unlike Lufthansa, Jet Airways gifted the baby free plane tickets for life.

When another user asked how the airlines could allow a heavily pregnant woman to fly, Lufthansa replied: “Pregnant women with an uncomplicated pregnancy may fly with Lufthansa until the end of the 36th week of pregnancy.”