AN early arrival forced a transatlantic jet into an emergency medical diversion to Shannon on Sunday as a woman went into labour shortly after departing Amsterdam.
The Delta Airlines flight was en route from the Dutch city to Atlanta and was flying over the north of England when the emergency was declared and the pilot requested a landing at Shannon.
As the expectant mum went into contractions, the emergency services were scrambled on the runway at Shannon and the plane and all 230 passengers on board landed safely shortly before 2pm.
It had been feared that the baby might have to be delivered on the plane such was the frequency of the contractions on the approach to Shannon.
In the end, the woman was rushed to University Maternity Hospital Limerick by ambulance, where the baby was delivered.
The HSE declined to comment on the condition of mother and baby this Monday but both are understood to be doing well.
Unlike some airlines, Delta does not restrict travel for women in the late stages of pregnancy but does advise consultation with a doctor before boarding.
The flight resumed its journey to Atlanta shortly before 3.30pm.