A Taiwanese woman who gave birth to a baby girl on a China Airlines flight, could be fined £21,000 ($32,000), which was incurred by the carrier for diverting the plane. The heavily pregnant woman, identified only as Jian, was travelling from Taipei to Los Angeles, when she delivered the baby mid-air.
It has been alleged that the woman intended to give birth on US soil, so that her child can qualify for birthright US citizenship. Moreover, she was 36 weeks pregnant when she boarded the plane, which the airlines has claimed is against regulations.
Taiwan's minister of transport and communications, Chen Jian-yu, said that a cost of £21,000 has been incurred by the company for diverting the plane so that the mother could get medical attention. Now, the carrier wants the woman to pay the money back.
According to a Chinese website, the woman kept asking "are we in America yet?", while allegedly refusing to give birth on the floor of the aircraft. Video footage of the incident shows the woman delivering a baby girl and the airlines crew members could be seen appealing to passengers for medical assistance. A doctor was available on board, who helped in the delivery. The incident occurred at a height of 30,000 feet.
After the baby girl was born, the plane was diverted to Anchorage, Alaska, where the mother-daughter duo were sent to a hospital for medical treatment. On 17 October, the mother was deported to Taiwan, but the baby was handed over to a friend, who would take care of her, until she is old enough to travel.
The baby has been awarded US citizenship.