A Congolese woman disembarked from a plane with unexpected carry-on, having given birth to her son during her flight to Istanbul.
- Mother went into labour early, three hours into the flight
- Her husband, a doctor, delivered the baby with the help of cabin crew
- Healthy birth meant flight was able to continue on planned route, landing four hours after baby was born
Musuamba Michoukayembe was relaxed when she boarded he plane, not expecting her baby to be born until later in December.
But three hours into the flight from Gabon’s capital Libreville, she felt a pain in her abdomen.
When the pain continued, it became clear the 21-year-old was going into labour and cabin crew sprung into action to prepare for a mid-air delivery.
They cleared out the back end of the plane to create a makeshift delivery suite and were guided by Ms Michoukayembe’s husband, who was a doctor.
“It was a beautiful moment for us,” crew member Fatma Akyuz told Turkish news site Hurriyet.
“[We] boarded with 144 passengers, but landed with 145 passengers.”
Despite being far from a hospital, the birth was a success, with mother and son doing well after the delivery.
Pilot in command Alper Akkaya requested priority landing, but said there was no need to divert the flight to another airport.
“Since [the birth] was healthy, we continued our four-hour flight,” he said.
Cabin crew cleaned the baby boy after his umbilical cord was cut, with flight attendants taking turns to hold the newborn.
Tweet from Hava Sosyal Medya: Benel, born in Turkish Airlines flight, welcome to our baby family
The baby boy was named Bennel.
The family was taken to hospital after the plane landed in Istanbul, with both mother and baby reported to be in good condition.
They were scheduled to fly to San Francisco from Istanbul, however their travels plans have been halted by their unscheduled stopover.