Plane makes emergency landing as mum goes into labour mid-flight

Sinead Moore
Air France plane makes emergency landing
Air France plane makes emergency landing

A plane flying from Paris to Detroit was forced to make an emergency landing at Belfast International Airport after a passenger went into labour mid-air.

Just an hour into her Air France flight, Nicole Ghafari, who was 34 weeks pregnant, realised she was in premature labour.

"I didn't want to panic anyone on the plane... I was determined to remain calm," she told the Belfast Telegraph. "My husband was just fantastic. I just kept thinking she wasn't supposed to be born then. Once we went into the flight everything just started."

Mrs Ghafari was travelling with her husband Rabih and their three children.

The captain asked for special permission for the Airbus A340 to touch down in Co. Antrim. reports

With the 300-passenger aircraft approximately 45 minutes from Belfast, Belfast International airport said emergency medical crews were immediately put on stand-by, reports the BBC.

Mum and family were rushed to Antrim Area Hospital on arrival.

Nicole Riona was born less than an hour later, weighing 5lbs 7oz.

Rabih and Nicole gave their new arrival an Irish middle name in honour of their baby's unscheduled birthplace.

Mum Nicole said: "We did a bit of research and just thought Riona was lovely for a middle name. I think it means 'queenly'. It is just a reminder of where she was born."

Mother and baby are both doing well and Nicole, who flew home to Detroit yesterday, added: "Everyone was just so kind. We are blessed, truly. And we will be back when Nicole is older to show her where she was born.

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