Emirates cabin crew really had to put their training to the test on Thursday as a pregnant woman onboard a 12-hour flight from Tokyo to Dubai went into childbirth at 38,000 feet.
The airline confirmed that the unidentified woman successfully gave birth with cabin crew at her side helping her through the labour. Both child and mother are said to be recovering well following the ill-timed arrival.
Thankfully, all Emirates flight attendants are trained in medical response training, which includes learning critical life-saving skills, including how to deliver a newborn baby on board.
All Emirates aircraft are kitted out a wide variety of medical equipment, including a special child delivery pack, as well as oxygen, pain relief, a defibrillator and doctors-only medicines that can be administered by a healthcare professional if they happen to be onboard.
Emirates also has its own in-house Ground Medical Support team based at the airline’s headquarters in Dubai which can be contacted by cabin crew 24/7 via satellite phone to provide specialist help and advice while dealing with an in-flight medical emergency.
In this incident, the wide variety of training, additional support and professional medical equipment meant that following the successful delivery of the baby, the flight was able to continue to Dubai without needing to divert.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the airline explained: “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 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 statement continued.
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.