Indian carrier Jet Airways is giving one newborn baby the best travel present ever - free flights for life!
The announcement came after a baby boy was born prematurely on a flight from between Saudi Arabia and India. Some quick thinking by cabin crew and a paramedic, who just happened to be on board, meant the baby was successfully delivered at 35,000 feet.
The airline has not revealed the mother's identity out of respect for her privacy.
Both baby and mother are "doing well," a spokesperson for the airline told CNN, and are in hospital recovering.
"Jet Airways commends its crew for their response and promptness that saw them successfully translate their training into life-saving action," a spokeswoman for Jet Airway said in a statement.
The airline added it was the first time "a baby was born in-flight for the airline". In a humorous Tweet by the carrier for Father's Day, they are gifting the baby "a lifetime of free travel."
It was only April this year that a baby girl was born on board a Turkish Airlines flight but she sadly did not receive any free travel perks so it seems it depends which airline carrier you go with.
According to the Jet Airways website, expectant mothers can fly internationally up to 35 weeks so long as they have an "uncomplicated single pregnancy" and must be in possession of a "fitness to fly certificate," from the treating obstetrician "specifying the number of weeks of pregnancy."
However, "cases of multiple pregnancy/complicated single pregnancy are accepted till the end of the 32 weeks," provided the woman is in possession of "fitness to fly certificate" and "The Company Medical Department clearance is also required."
The nationality of a baby born in mid-air is a hotly debated issue, with no international standard set.
According to the United Nations, a baby born on a flight is a citizen of the country where the airline is registered. So in this case, baby Kadiju would become a Turkish citizen.
However the term jus soli, meaning ‘right of the soil’ is used to define the United States nationally laws and grants automatic citizenship to babies born on US soil. Jus soli doesn’t necessarily apply to babies born in the air or at sea, as the US will not recognise a baby born on a US vessel (such as a plane or ship) unless it's docked at a US port or flying within the country’s airspace.
The US law has in the past lent itself to the idea of ‘birth tourism’, where expectant mothers travel to the US just to give birth on US soil, or in the airspace to give their children citizenship.
Citizenship for the rare case of babies being born mid-flight are usually assessed on a case-by-case basis, and are often influenced by the parents nationality.
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