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29 November 2023

Jordanian woman gives birth mid-flight over Atlantic

A woman gave birth to a baby girl over the Atlantic on a flight to New York from Jordan, which landed at New York's John F Kennedy Airport airport. (AFP)


A Jordanian woman gave birth to a premature but healthy baby girl mid-flight over the Atlantic while travelling to New York from Amman, officials said Wednesday.

The 33-year-old woman was assisted by a nurse and doctor who happened to be on board Royal Jordanian flight 261 when she went into labour, four hours before landing in the Big Apple.

The little girl was born at around 5:30 pm New York time on Tuesday, while the twin-jet Boeing Dreamliner was cruising over the Atlantic, airport and airline officials said.

Royal Jordanian said the captain had been about to conduct an emergency landing at an airport in Canada, but continued onto New York when informed the birth was problem-free.

"The delivery was fast and easy, helped by an anaesthesiologist and a legal nurse who happened to be on board, and in cooperation with the crew members," the airline said in a statement.

"Mother and child were in good health and there was no need to divert the plane," it added.

Joe Pentangelo, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said the baby weighs more than six pounds (2.7 kilos).

The airline said the woman had been 31 weeks pregnant and that it is airline policy for women to travel up to their 36th week in case of single pregnancy, and up to 32 weeks for twins or more.

"The mother expressed gratitude for the great help she received from the physician, the nurse and the flight attendants, and thanked the RJ staff at (John F Kennedy International Airport)," Royal Jordanian said.

Pentangelo said the woman is a Jordanian citizen and appeared to be travelling alone.