Air Canada flight AC875 from Frankfurt in Germany to Montreal in Canada declared a medical emergency while crossing over Northern Ireland and elected to divert to Dublin Airport.
The Airbus A330-300, with 197 passengers on board, had left Frankfurt at 10.27am (Irish time) for the 11 hour and 30 minute journey to Montreal. Ninety minutes later, however, just minutes before the flight was about to commence its Atlantic crossing, the aircraft had divert into Dublin where emergency medical crews were standing by.
A 25-year-old pregnant woman on board began experiencing labour pains despite not being due for a further three weeks. As cabin crew members went to the woman’s assistance, they quickly realised she was in labour and notified the captain.
The jet had crossed the Irish Sea and was cruising at 36,000 feet just north of Belfast when the crew notified air traffic controllers that they required to divert and land. The captain made a U-turn and routed south to Dublin where the aircraft landed safely at 1.04pm.
Ambulance paramedics were standing by at the gate to take the woman to Holles Street Hospital in Dublin where she gave birth a short time later. Mother and baby are said to be doing well.
Flight 875 departed Dublin again for Montreal about three hours later arriving at its destination almost four hours behind schedule.
Air Canada’s policy states that a woman with a normal pregnancy and no previous history of premature labour may travel up to and including her 36th week on Air Canada.