Angolan teenager, 17-year-old Fatawmatt Kaba gave birth in a SAA flight to New York this past Saturday (8March). SAA Spokesperson Tlali Tlali says that the pregnancy had not been disclosed prior – when booking for or boarding the flight – as the airline policy stipulates that: “International travel is permitted up to 35 weeks for a routine pregnancy”. Also they must have a letter from a gynaecologist that states that it’s safe for the mother to travel. He added that two doctors were present on the flight and they were able to assist.
Fatawmatt Kaba went into labour just 4 hours into the 16-hour trip. She suprised everyone on the flight by not screaming at all during labour. Both mother and child are healthy and medical personnel received them first thing when they landed in New York.
The New York daily also reports that the crew contemplated diverting the flight to another country so that the mother could deliver safely, however after the birth medical practitioners on the flight determined that both the mother and newborn (Mamel Joella) were in a stable condition. So the flight continued to its original destination.
Tlali concluded by saying that “The safety and security of our customers and crew is SAA’s first priority. We urge all our passengers to familiarise themselves with and adhere to all applicable policies and guidelines as practised by SAA and many airlines around the world.”