A little girl born on a Turkish Airlines flight has prompted a bit of a territorial tussle over where her roots will lie.
Up, up and away
Tiny Kadiju was born with her head in the clouds (well, actually, way above them!) at 42 000 feet, after her mum, Nafi Diaby, went into labour on a Guinea to Burkina Faso (West Africa) flight.
Kadiju was apparently only at 28 weeks gestation when her mum went into labour on board the flight. Passengers and the cabin crew sprung into action, helping to deliver the wee girl. Mother and baby were taken straight to hospital when the plane landed, and are apparently doing well.
“After the smooth landing of Boeing B737-900 type aircraft to the Ouagadougou Airport, the mother Nafi Diaby and her newborn baby girl were taken to the hospital in order to be kept under observation for a while,” Turkish Airlines said in a statement on their website.
“Turkish Airlines’ Ouagadougou station officials reported that the baby and the mother currently do not have any health problems. And they also added that they’re still closely taking care of the mother and the newborn baby who named as “Kadiju”, on their stay at hospital,” the airline statement continued.
Turkish Airlines permit women to fly up to their 28th week of pregnancy without written doctor’s approval. After 28-weeks pregnant women must have a medical approval to confirm they are fit to fly.
Just as an aside, we can’t help but think this baby looks pretty amazing for a 28 weeker! Perhaps there was a mix up with the dates?
Welcome on board Princess! Applause goes to our cabin crew! 👏🏻👶🏽 pic.twitter.com/FFPI16Jqgt
— Turkish Airlines (@TurkishAirlines) April 7, 2017
Home is where the heart is?
Kadiju’s homeland confusion lies in the fact that there are apparently mixed messages – and rules – over nationality. Kadiju may take her nationality from the airspace she was in when she was born. She may simply take her mother’s nationality or she may take her nationality from the country where the aircraft was registered – Turkey.
Some commenters on the airline’s Facebook page are even suggesting that if she was born over international waters, she may have no sovereign state at all.
“If she was born midair, out of any sovereign state and most likely flying over the ocean then as per IATA rules her place of birth would be “International waters”. Way to go girl!” one wrote.
They even speculated that she may be allowed visa-free travel internationally, but that seems a leeeeeetle bit far-fetched to us. At this stage it seems the jury is still out on Kadiju’s official nationality and the law on this is quite complex.
No word yet on whether the tiny girl will be gifted free travel on Turkish Airlines, as is occasionally the custom when a baby is born on a flight.
When Malaysian national Liew Siaw Hsia gave birth to her baby boy on board an Air Asia flight in 2009, at 27 weeks gestation, mother and child were gifted free flights for life by the airline.
Thai Airways granted free travel for life to tiny Dararasami Thongcharoen when she was born 2 months early during a flight in 1995.
Generally, however, free travel is the exception rather than the rule.
Babyology’s covered a number of other babies that have made their appearance mid-flight and many thousands of feet above terra firma. Baby Haven was born on a flight between Dubai and Manila. Another little girl was born on a China Airlines flight from Taiwan to LA.
Congratulations to the family of this little one. Wishing them a speedy recovery from their exciting trip.