An Afghan refugee gave birth to a healthy baby girl mid-flight onboard an evacuation flight to the United Kingdom early on Saturday with the help of cabin crew.
Soman Noori, 26, was one of several thousand refugees who managed to escape Afghanistan for a new life in Britain and was being evacuated to Birmingham via Dubai when she went into labour during the Turkish Airlines flight, the carrier said in a statement.
As there were no doctors or other medical professionals onboard the flight, it was up to the cabin crew to spring into action and help deliver the baby. Luckily, cabin crew receive emergency childbirth training and special medical kits for expectant mothers are carried by most airlines.
Noori went into labour as the plane flew over Kuwait at around 33,000 feet, the airline said. Noori and her husband Taj Moh Hammat, 30, named their baby girl Havva which translates to Eve in English. Havva is the couple’s third child.
The flight was initially diverted to Kuwait but after medical professionals determined that both mother and child were in good health, the flight and all its passengers (including the new addition) were allowed to continue to the UK.
The flight, which was carrying Afghan citizens who had helped the British military during the nearly 20 years that Western forces spent in Afghanistan, landed in Birmingham at around 11:45 am on Saturday.
This is the second known baby to be born on a plane during the mass evacuation effort from Kabul. Last week, an Afghan refugee went into labour while being flown aboard a U.S. military plane from Kabul to a base in Germany.
Once the plane had landed, military medics boarded the plane and helped deliver the base in the cargo hold of the aircraft.
The baby was called Reach after the codename of the aircraft. The U.S. military normally uses the call sign ‘Reach’ followed by a number for its fleet of C17 Globemaster aircraft.
The C17 was the same type of aircraft that helped to evacuate over 800 people out of Kabul in a single airlift early into the evacuation.
Several other babies have been delivered during the evacuation effort but only once their mother’s were on terra firma.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.