Air India’s London-Kochi flight of Tuesday is being rerouted to Frankfurt after a baby was born on board the Boeing 787. The woman went into labor sometime after the plane took off.
From London at 1.21 pm (local time in the UK) or 6.51 pm IST. A doctor who was on board and the flight’s cabin crew helped deliver the baby. At that time, the aircraft was over the Black Sea en route to India.
Since the newborn and the mother needed medical care, the airline decided to divert to the nearest airport that was. Frankfurt, and turned in that direction. An AI spokesperson confirmed this.
The aircraft has over 210 people on board, including 193 economy and 11 business class passengers. The aircraft landed in Frankfurt around 11 pm IST. As per rules, only the newborn, the mother, and if a close relative like the husband will alight at Frankfurt. The others will fly to Kochi unless the flight requires a crew change due to flight duty time limitation of the new getting over in Frankfurt.
“We have always put passenger wellbeing over monetary aspects. The moment the baby was born and knowing that our destination was several hours away. We immediately decided to divert to Frankfurt,” said the airline spokesperson.
“The human face of Air India was evident yet again as a lady passenger flying from Kochi to London went into labor mid-air. Our experienced cabin crew swung into action and identifying doctors on board sought their assistance to give birth to the child.
To ensure the wellbeing of the newborn. They diverted the flight diverted to Frankfurt as a medical emergency without any commercial consideration of such unscheduled landings,” he added.
Many AI employees see the born of the baby just ahead of the announcement of the airline’s future buyer, likely to be founder Tata Group, as a “good sign.” “We are awaiting the rebirth of our airline under the new owner, hopefully, the Tatas. This is the beginning of new beginnings,” said a long time employee.
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