A woman gave birth to a premature but healthy baby girl in mid-flight while travelling from the UAE to the Philippines, forcing the plane into an emergency landing in India.

The mother, whose due date was two months away, went into labour on board the Cebu Pacific Air flight on Sunday as it flew from Dubai to Manila.

Flight attendants called for medical assistance - there were two nurses among the passengers - before turning the front of the cabin into a makeshift delivery room, her fellow passenger Missy Berberabe Umandal posted on Facebook.

"We only heard one semi-loud screech, and a few seconds later, there were tinier, cute screeches, and it was when we knew the baby was born," Ms Umandal said in her post, with a picture of the mother holding her newborn.

Flight attendants and nurses cleaned the newborn and dressed her in baby clothes donated by fellow passengers flying with infants.

The pilot landed in Hyderabad so the mother and newborn could receive medical attention before continuing on to Manila. They were given temporary three-day visas that would be extended until they are fit to fly, a Hyderabad airport security official said.

The airline said it was giving the baby a million points in its rewards programme, equivalent to about 10,000 one-way flights in the Philippines.

* Agence France-Presse