A Pakistani mother on Tuesday gave birth to a baby girl on-board a flight taking pilgrims from the Muslim holy city of Madinah in Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, airline officials said.
A spokesman for Pakistan International Airline, Mashood Tajwar, said both the mother and baby were healthy, though it was a premature birth.
Tajwar said: “The flight was scheduled to land in the eastern city of Multan in the early morning hours but was diverted to the southern metropolis Karachi due to bad weather.
“The airline staff and hostesses helped the woman give birth after the mother complained of pain while all the passengers onboard and PIA staff welcomed the newborn.
“The baby was wrapped in flight blankets and the staff distributed sweets among all passengers. The mother got chocolates and a bouquet from the airline.”
Tajwar said that PIA does not allow women to travel if they are beyond the 27th week of pregnancy adding that there is no mechanism to implement this rule without cooperation by passengers.
Another airport official, Mohamed Nadeem, said that the plane later arrived in Multan in the afternoon.
The woman and her husband went to Saudi Arabia for the ritual of Umrah, which includes a pilgrimage to the cities of Mecca and Madinah.