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Baby girl born on Malabo-Madrid flight

04 june 2011, 17:32
Iberia aircraft. ©Reuters
Iberia aircraft. ©Reuters
An airline passenger gave birth to a baby girl Friday while flying to Madrid from central Africa, helped by a midwife, paediatrician and doctor who were all aboard, AFP reports, citing Iberia.

The three-kilogram (6.6-pound) baby was born healthy after a quick delivery during an Iberia Airbus A319 flight from Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea, the Spanish airline said in a statement.

"The birth occured during the flight at 3.30am Spanish time (0130 GMT), just over two hours after take-off," it said.

A midwife, paediatician and doctor happened to be aboard and were able to help with the delivery of the girl, whose name was not known.

The flight continued without a detour. The mother, who lives in Madrid but had gone to Malabo to attend a funeral, was taken to hospital with her baby on arrival in the Spanish capital.

"It is true she was very lucky," said an Iberia spokeswoman when asked about the presence of qualified medical personnel aboard.

Iberia recommends pregnant women not fly but cannot ban someone, the spokeswoman said. There were special circumstances in this case because the mother had to attend a funeral, she said.

Some airlines prohibit women who are more than seven months' pregnant from boarding a plane without a medical certificate.

The girl was the fifth baby to be born on an Iberia flight.

Asked whether she would get any benefit from her high-flying origins, the spokeswoman said stories about airlines giving away free tickets in such cases were an urban myth.

But the airline was considering a "small gift" for the mother and daughter, she added.

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